Xiaomi hopes for second-time lucky with fresh start in Brazil

The new store is a fresh attempt at wooing Brazilian shoppers.

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Xiaomi has opened its first store in Brazil.

The Chinese phone maker previously attempted to crack the Brazilian market in 2015 but began withdrawing less than 12 months later. At that time it had paid more attention to online sales.

The new store is a fresh attempt at wooing Brazilian shoppers. Based in São Paulo, Brazil’s financial center and most-populated city with over 12 million people, it carries Xiaomi’s range of products—from smartphones, home appliances, scooters, sports equipment, and luggage products— and attracted over 7,000 customers on its opening day, reports Chinese tech news outlet Jiemian.

The China-based company’s Brazilian operations are carried out in partnership with local electronics brand and manufacturer DL.

As the world fifth-largest country by population and ninth-largest in terms of GDP, Brazil represents a substantial market opportunity. In 2019, the country’s population stood at roughly 210 million, and it generated USD 1.9 trillion (RMB 13.31 trillion).

Meanwhile, the total number of smartphones in the country is expected to reach 236 million sometime between 2020 and 2022, up from 198 million in 2017, per Brazilian think tank and university Fundacao Getulio Vargas.

In the years of lackluster performance in Brazil, Xiaomi moved into Mexico in 2017, followed by Uruguay and Colombia. It also opened its first store in Chile in April 2019.

Xiaomi CFO Shou Zi said in a CNBC interview in March that the company would focus on expansion in Latin America and Africa in the near-term.