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I wanted to see what it was like working inside Xiaomi, the 8,000-employee-strong, Beijing-based phonemaker that's making waves.
One of the company's five office buildings is attached to a mall. (Xiaomi will consolidate to a single building in 2018.)
Inside the office of Xiaomi's vice president of global, Hugo Barra, I hopped on a Ninebot Mini 'hoverboard' to explore.
Xiaomi's mascot, the Mi Bunny, channels late martial artist and actor Bruce Lee.
There's even an office dog, named Wang Cai (which means fortune), who was out and about during my visit -- too bad.
I snapped this photo of the basement cafeteria after lunch, when it's being used for some sort of testing.
Lots of greenery in the customer service section, but all the plants are fake.
The PR and marketing area resembles a lot of Silicon Valley offices I've been in: colorful and open.
There of tons of toys and figurines here, just like CNET.
This giant Mi Bunny plushie was too cute to resist.
I put him back.
Xiaomi's gallery of gifts that fans make and then send to headquarters includes this pair of hand-painted shoes with the Mi Bunny logo...
...and this phone decorated in millet, which is what "Xiaomi" means.
This collage wall chronicles fan events, the parties for phone buyers that Xiaomi uses to whip up enthusiasm instead of traditional ads.
There's daily fruit delivery for every employee. Today's produce: a little bag of kumquats.
Some products here from Xiaomi and white label partners include AA batteries that don't include mercury or cadmium, and a mini router designed for college dorm rooms.
Xiaomi's answer to the Philips Hue, this lamp softly glows with the whole spectrum of color.
Xiaomi threw some short-grain rice into their branded cooker.
Just sharing some rice with global VP Hugo Barra.
After my snack, I took the escalator into the adjoining mall and went to one of Xiaomi's 22 retail stores (only in mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan for now).
I saw the pink version of the Mi 5 flagship, which I hadn't seen at the Mobile World Congress launch in February.
There are also headphones...
...and Bluetooth speakers. Xiaomi works with partners on a lot of this hardware.
This air purifier is a great example of a co-design with a company that works with Xiaomi to sell its products.
Xiaomi also lets fans vote on partner products to make, like its own little Kickstarter. This robot is in production now.
Water filtration systems like this one are bulky, but an important option for safe drinking water.
Xiaomi's answer to Dropcam's security cameras.
One final look at the Xiaomi store. Read more on my tech travels through Asia here!