Xiaomi looks to India amid overseas expansion drive

Chinese smartphone vendor Xiaomi Corp said it will launch at least six new smartphones and open 100 exclusive stores in India, the world's fastest-growing major smartphone market, this year.

The move came after Xiaomi displaced Samsung Electronics Co Ltd as the top smartphone vendor in the Asian country in the fourth quarter of 2017.

Manu Kumar Jain, Xiaomi global vice-president and India head, said in an interview with local media Live-Mint that the company will also broaden its original niches into more new product categories in the near term and build out a big, non-smartphone business.

These moves are part of the firm's broader push to accelerate its overseas expansion after logging impressive sales in key global markets in 2017.

In addition to smartphones, Xiaomi has already expanded its business through launching high-definition televisions in India. The company has also displayed some new products including smart scooters, cookers and shoes as well as weighing scales, but has yet to disclose when or whether it will release these gadgets.

"Our journey in India has just started. We can achieve a lot more on every front," said Jain, adding that the company will invest in more local software and internet startups over the next 12 months.

"India is changing drastically. ... We would want to increase the pace of investments to support these Indian companies. In India, we started with smaller investments ... but if there's a need, we can do bigger ticket sizes," he said.

Jia Mo, an analyst at market research firm Canalys, said: "Xiaomi's accelerated steps in India are in line with its strategies at home, which are centered on 'quality' and 'value for money' and aim to increase offline presence to cover more areas. These efforts are also paying off."

According to the Canalys's report, Xiaomi's total smartphone shipments to India stood at nearly 8.2 million units in the last quarter of 2017. Despite an annual growth of 17 percent, Samsung failed to maintain its lead, shipping just over 7.3 million smartphones to take second place.


Email: zhanglingxiao@nbd.com.cn