In the third quarter of 2015, Huawei took the top spot after it posted 81 percent year-on-year shipment growth, while Xiaomi's shipments shrank, according to data from market research firm Canalys.
Xiaomi has built its success on selling top-spec hardware at a low price. Its growth rates have been rapid but its biggest market is China, which is facing a smartphone slowdown. Data from research firm IDC in May showed that the China smartphone market contracted by 4 percent year-over-year with 98.8 million units shipped in the first quarter of 2015.
Special offers for Singles' Day included a reduced price on its new Redmi Note 2 smartphone. It was made available at 699 yuan for the day, down from the usual price of 799 yuan. Xiaomi TVs also had a particularly strong showing, according to the company, with 66,000 Mi TVs sold for a total of 247 million yuan.
—CNBC's Arjun Kharpal contributed to this article.