Chinese smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi has entered the European market for the first time following its announcement that its devices are now retailing in Spain. It’s part of the company’s new overall global strategy that will see them attempt to penetrate new markets in the forthcoming months.
Xiaomi will initially retail its flagship device the MI A1 smartphone for €229.00, a competitive price, which it hopes can attract Spanish consumers. In addition to this, the Chinese smartphone maker is also introducing connected products such as scooters, air purifiers and coffee makers to the Spanish marketplace.
Head of Xiaomi’s Global Business, Wang Xiang, says its decision to enter Europe illustrates clearly its desire to be a global entity, and also outlined its plans to enter into developing countries in 2018. Wang Xiang said, “It is proof we are very, very serious to be a global company, not only a Chinese company and not only working in developing countries. We want to expand our ambitions to developed areas like Western Europe, and that’s just the first step.”
Xiaomi was once the world’s most valuable startup company, but sales plummeted in 2016 due to the combination of intense competition from Chinese rivals Huawei Technologies and the high-profile departure of Hugo Barra, who left to lead Facebook’s new AR division.
Its sales slump last year forced them to withdraw from several overseas markets such as Brazil and Indonesia. However, this year it has launched and re-launched in countries such as Russia, Vietnam, Ukraine and the United Arab Emirates, and thus far the sales performance in all those markets have been satisfactory, which has prompted them to make the bold move into Western Europe.
Wang said the company now had a better strategic approach and added that it now also boasted more resources, claiming that Xiaomi had learned valuable lessons from its previous failed entries into markets over the last number of years.
In July, Xiaomi coffers were boosted to the tune of $1 billion following a loan, and that subsequently bankrolled its overseas international expansion plans. It has enjoyed a remarkable year and overtook Apple to become China’s fourth-largest smartphone vendor by sales, which has been attributed to its focus on offline stores according to a number of research firms.
Xiaomi has a very strong presence in India, where it ranks second behind Samsung Electronics Co Ltd by smartphone sales, and plans to open 1,000 global stores in the next two years.