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Xiaomi sales near flat in 2015, says report

Sales barely grew in 2015 at the world's second-biggest start-up, Xiaomi, according to Fortune magazine.

Revenue for the Chinese smartphone maker hit 78 billion yuan ($12.5 billion) in 2015, representing growth of 3 percent year over year, adjusted for currency fluctuations, a public affairs official told a technology conference in Beijing. Fortune said that's compared to sales growth of 135 percent in 2014 for a company whose more than $45 billion valuation is rivaled only by Uber.

Still, a spokeswoman told Fortune that Xiaomi sold over 70 million smartphones in 2015 "despite the shrinking of the smartphone market."

The report comes just months after competitor Apple raised questions of smartphone market saturation when it reported that revenues had fallen 13 percent in the first quarter, its first year-over-year quarterly sales drop since 2003. Regionally, Greater China represented the biggest share of Apple's sales decline, with revenues falling 26 percent year on year.

In the first quarter of this year, Xiaomi's smartphone sales shrank by 5 percent, according to Fortune. Xiaomi leadership has consistently said its product is better than the iPhone.

Fortune obtained the now-deleted interview detailing Xiaomi 2015 sales, but a spokeswoman declined to comment on the 3 percent figure. Xiaomi did not immediately respond to CNBC's request for comment.

For more on the story, see the full report at Fortune.com.