Xiaomi eyes ‘new chapter’ in global sales with Spain as first European stop

Chinese smartphone maker picks Spain as its first target market in western Europe

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 08 November, 2017, 2:29pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 08 November, 2017, 3:15pm

Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi has launched “a new chapter” in its global expansion with a move into the western European market, senior vice-president Wang Xiang said at a launch event in Madrid, Spain.

Starting Wednesday, a selection of the company’s flagship phones will be available in Spain – priced between 229 and 499 (US$578) – together with its internet-connected products including scooters, fitness trackers and coffee makers.

In keeping with the company’s new-found focus on offline retail, two authorised Xiaomi stores will open in Madrid on Saturday, while offline sales via partners including Carrefour and Media Markt will roll out on November 22.

Huawei, Xiaomi lead Chinese brands’ stranglehold on world’s largest smartphone market

The push into Spain comes amid a recommitment to global sales after Xiaomi retreated from several markets including Brazil and Indonesia due to regulatory issues and local competition.

Wang said Xiaomi was committed to developing innovative technology products while “defying price expectations”, adding that he expects customers in Spain, the first stop in a western Europe push, will find the products attractive.

Founded in 2010, Xiaomi briefly held the title of the world’s most valuable start-up in 2014 before it saw shrinking growth due to intense competition from local rivals Huawei, Vivo and Oppo.

Top Chinese brands continue to extend their dominance on the mainland – the world’s largest smartphone market – with Huawei leading the pack with a market share of 19.4 per cent in the third quarter, according to industry researcher IDC.

Xiaomi ranked fourth with 13.7 per cent behind Oppo and Vivo, preliminary figures by IDC showed on Monday.

Xiaomi’s Hong Kong sales surge after pivot, opening of city’s second showroom

In a counter move, Xiaomi chief executive Lei Jun earlier announced that the firm will launch 1,000 Mi Home brick-and-mortar retail outlets in China over the next three years as part of a more integrated strategy.