Xiaomi from China talks to European and US carriers
Published : Wednesday, 28 March, 2018Xiaomi, which plans a public listing later in the year, is looking for more markets to expand into after ending up tops in India last year.
Xiaomi is often called “China’s Apple”, and wants to increase its global expansion following its success in India. The Indian market took 3 years to capture and Xiaomi used a combination of social media publicity and flash sales to do so.
The company, which is based in Beijing, is planning to increase expansion into Western Europe and has been talking to carriers in the USA for at least 2 years, preparing for an entry into the U.S. market eventually. Besides its home market of China, Xiaomi now operates in 70 countries across the globe, including India, Indonesia, Russia and Spain.
Wang Xiang, the senior vice-president at Xiaomi charged with the company’s global expansion revealed that Vodafone, the biggest carrier in Europe, has contacted them for cooperation. In an interview in Shanghai, Wang said that Xiaomi will launch a smartphone model tailored specifically to the US market, as they feel this market is important enough that they didn’t want to sell products there randomly. Xiaomi is also talking to major US carriers and Wang has already met all their executives.
Xiaomi could also attract an increasing number of global investors for their initial public offering (IPO) later in the year, if they manage to project a more international image. While Xiaomi’s management has not commented on their plans for listing, the company has apparently appointed various investment banks to help with the proposed IPO on the stock exchange in Hong Kong.
Xiaomi was founded in 2010 and was the most valuable private start-up in the world at one time. At the end of 2014, its net worth was in excess of US$46 billion. In India, the second biggest smartphone market in the world, Xiaomi sold 8.2 million smartphones in Q4 2017, reaching a 27% market share and taking it to number 1. This effectively ended Samsung Electronics’ six-year reign in this region.
To boost international sales in anticipation of its IPO, Xiaomi opened its first offline Mi store in the Philippines during the Lunar New Year in mid-February. Xiaomi also appeared for the first time as an exhibitor in Barcelona last month. Xiaomi’s first Mi store was also opened in Barcelona, the third such store in Spain.