Xiaomi to enter US smartphone market as early as 2018
After its remarkable success in India and the expansion into Western Europe, Xiaomi eyes the US market as it gears for an IPO to raise $10 billion or more in Hong Kong, later this year. Xiaomi, China's fourth biggest smartphone vendor, is planning to sell its smartphones in the US as early as this year. But it has several hurdles to cross. We elaborate.
"We've always been considering entering the US market. We plan to start entering the market by end 2018, or by early 2019", confirmed Xiaomi Chairman Lei Jun.
Xiaomi currently sells some of its products like Mi TV, speakers, cameras via partner stores like Amazon and Walmart and also through its Mi online store. However, breaking into the US market to sell its smartphones translates to taking on the dominance of established brands likes Apple and Samsung, amongst others. Importantly, Xiaomi would also require partnership with telecom partners to market its phones.
Apart from Apple and Samsung being a big threat for Xiaomi, it will also have to tackle the concerns from the US Intelligence, given its recent pushback against Chinese smartphone vendors in the country. Recently, the heads of major US Intelligence agencies like CIA, FBI and NSA warned American citizens to not use products and services offered by Chinese makers like Huawei and ZTE.