Xiaomi is aiming to enter the US a long time after gaining success in India and China. The company also recently entered Europe and the UK. The Beijing-based smartphone maker that sells its Mi and Redmi range of handsets is reportedly in development to foray into the US market as early as next year. The latest development emerges in the midst of hindrances faced by Chinese companies, including Huaweiand ZTE, that are seeking their market expansion through the US market. Xiaomi notably launched its online store in the US to sell its accessories back in 2015, however, none of its smartphone models have so far formally been available in the country.
Senior Vice President Wang Xiang confirmed Xiaomi’s plan to Reuters. Xiang said that the US market was “very attractive” and the company is adding engineering resources to make its handsets compatible with US carriers. “Next year we hope we can do something there,” the executive told the news agency.
In December, Huawei announced the plans to expand its presence in the US and set to bring the Mate 10 as the first model on AT&T. But the deal between the Chinese company and AT&T suddenly collapsed in January and in March, Best Buy even stopped selling Huawei devices through its retail stores in the country.
Alongside Huawei, the US Department of Commerce in April banned American companies from selling components to ZTE for as many as seven years. The ban was imposed on the Chinese telecom equipment maker for allegedly violating the terms of sanctions violation case. Recently, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) also blocked China Mobile from offering its services to the US telecom market.
Xiaomi’s Wang believed that the trade tensions between the US and China introduced “uncertainty” but downplayed their impact on plans for the US market. Xiaomi already has relationships in the US market, such as Qualcomm and Alphabet, and these should help the consumer-facing company avoid the political resistance faced by Huawei and ZTE. He also highlighted that the company already has a large number of engineers and investors from the US.
While Xiaomi’s arrival in the US is yet to take place, the company has already expanded its presence widely in the key European markets. It kicked off its operations in Spain late last year and tied up with CK Hutchison in March this year to step into other European markets and the UK. Xiaomi Chairman Lei Jun also recently showed the interest in entering the US market after the initial success in the western world through the Europe and UK debut. “We’ve always been considering entering the US market,” Jun was quoted in a Wall Street Journal report in March. “We plan to start entering the market by end 2018, or by early 2019,” he had added.
According to a recent report by research firm Strategy Analytics, Xiaomi was the fourth largest smartphone vendor in the world with whopping 125 percent annual growth in the first quarter of 2018. The company is also the most dominating vendor in India, leading the market with 30.3 percent market share, as recently reported by IDC.