Xiaomi aims for the top spot in Euro­pean mar­ket

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - BUSINESS - By MA SI

Chi­nese smart­phone ven­dor Xiaomi Corp said on Thursday that it is aim­ing to be the No 1 or 2 player of its kind in Europe, as it strives to ex­pand its pres­ence in over­seas mar­kets amid mount­ing com­pe­ti­tion with ri­vals such as Huawei Tech­nolo­gies Co Ltd.

Lei Jun, founder and CEO of Xiaomi, said: “At first, we want to be­come the No 1 or 2 smart­phone ven­dor in one or two Euro­pean coun­tries. We have se­lected Spain and France as our pri­mary des­ti­na­tions.”

Lei said he will per­son­ally make a trip to Europe in the first quar­ter of this year to see how Xiaomi is do­ing in the highly com­pet­i­tive bat­tle­field. The Bei­jing-based com­pany’s smart­phone ship­ments to Western Europe grew 386 per­cent year-onyear in the third quar­ter of 2018, ac­cord­ing to mar­ket re­search com­pany Canalys.

Lei’s com­ments came as Xiaomi is stepping up its push to lure for­eign con­sumers as the China mar­ket reaches sat­u­ra­tion point. From June to Septem­ber, Xiaomi was ranked as the fourth largest smart­phone ven­dor in terms of smart­phone ship­ments, while its in­ter­na­tional rev­enue grew 112.7 per­cent year-onyear.

“Our prod­ucts and ser­vices are now avail­able in more than 80 coun­tries and re­gions. We also plan to en­ter Africa and the Mid­dle East in the fu­ture,” Lei said.

Xiaomi on Thursday of­fi­cially un­veiled its new in­de­pen­dent brand Redmi, which is seen by an­a­lysts as a key way to com­pete with Honor, one of the two sig­na­ture brands of Huawei.

The Redmi brand is de­signed to make cost-ef­fec­tive smart­phones while the Xiaomi brand will fo­cus on the higher-end seg­ment, Lei said at the launch event.

Lu Weib­ing, for­mer pres­i­dent of lo­cal smart­phone ven­dor Gionee, is in charge of Redmi’s busi­ness. As of Septem­ber 2018, a to­tal of 278 mil­lion Redmi se­ries smart­phones had been sold glob­ally.

Ac­cord­ing to him, Xiaomi will ramp up its push to of­fer qual­ity smart­phones with highly com­pet­i­tive prices and qual­ity, and Redmi will also help drive its global ex­pan­sion.

Xiang Li­gang, a tele­com veteran and CEO of in­dus­try web­site Cc­time, said the global smart­phone mar­ket has de­clined con­sid­er­ably, with 2019 be­ing a quite chal­leng­ing year.

“Redmi is now al­ready very pop­u­lar in mar­kets such as In­dia, but more ef­forts are needed in Europe where con­sumers pre­fer more premium de­vices,” Xiang said.

Honor said ear­lier that it achieved 150 per­cent year-on-year growth in for­eign mar­kets in 2018.

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