Chinese technology company developing smartphones as well as photo and video software for taking selfies with filters.

Meitu (美图) is a Chinese technology company which is publicly traded on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. The company has developed a suite of mobile apps that have been downloaded on more than 1.5 billion unique smartphones and tablet devices. It also sells a unique line of smartphones which are only available in Asia and use an operating system called MEIOS, which is based on Android Nougat. 

Meitu Selfie Apps

The name 美图 (měitú) translates as 'beautiful pictures'. Meitu's suite of applications all involve photography and videography, and predominantly focus on altering selfies in real time or editing them retroactively. The apps use artificial intelligence tools such as facial recognition software, machine learning algorithms, and augmented reality technology to alter photos and videos in real time. Some of the most popular Meitu apps include:

  • MakeupPlus - Enable users to virtually try on various makeup looks and learn how to apply them in reality with tips and tutorials.
  • BeautyPlus - Allows users to instantly retouch photos and videos and add filters that change the appearance of their skin tone and facial structure, among other features.
  • AirBrush - Allows users to retouch photos to manually eliminate imperfections from selfies and portraits.
  • Meitu - #1 photo editing app in China, used to apply filters, frames, and other effects and tools to smartphone photos.
  • Meipai - #1 social video platform in China (510 million+ videos uploaded) with built-in editing and design tools for personalized videos.

Meitu App Popularity

Meitu applications have more than 350 million monthly active users combined coming from more than 39 different countires. They are most popular in China, South Korea, Japan, and other Asian countries. However, Meitu also has several million users in the USA and Brazil, as well as in some European countries. 

History and Partnership with Xiaomi

Meitu was founded in 2008 by Wensheng Cai and Xinhong Wu. They held 4 rounds of funding before going public, with the first coming in 2011 and the last in 2014. The company went on to launch an IPO on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange on December 15th, 2016, and had an evaluation of $4.6 billion. 

On November 19th, 2018 Meitu announced a global strategic cooperation agreement with the smartphone and IoT hardware company Xiaomi Corporation. Xiaomi assumed control of the design, research and development, production, business operations, and sales of Cooperation Smartphones. Xiamoi was also granted an exclusive license to use Meitu's brand and proprietary imaging technology in relation to some its smart hardware products. Meanwhile, Meitu has shifted it's focus towards developing social media platforms based on it's imaging technology, which has yielded higher gross profits in recent years. 


April 15, 2019

Meitu launches AI platform for developers as it drops phone business · TechNode



Wesheng Cai

Founder & CEO

Xinhong Wu


Further reading


Meitu V6: The selfie phone you've never heard about


Meitu works to reinvent itself as China's Instagram

Michelle Chan


Documentaries, videos and podcasts


Chinese selfie app, Meitu, turns you into an anime character

Introducing Meitu T8 Mobile, A Mobile Beautifying Your Picture in Real Time