Xiaomi sets up store in Paris in EU expansion push

Xiaomi establishes greater presence in Western Europe, after its success in Spain.

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Chinese smart gadgets maker Xiaomi is opening the door of its first French store to Parisians, a part of its wider push to set up more storefronts in European countries, including the launch of sales later this week in Italy.

Xiaomi, which recently filed with HKEX for a much-hyped multi-billion dollars initial public offering, has established agreements with France telecom carriers such as Orange, SFR, Bouygues and Free as it brings along the high quality all-new Mi MIX 2S and Redmi Note 5 at unbeatable prices to the French capital city.

We reported earlier that the Beijing-based company dipped toes into part of the EU markets by inking a similar deal with Hong Kong conglomerate CK Hutchison to distribute its smartphones across the Europe, including Austria, Denmark, Ireland, Italy, Sweden as well as UK.

Grew up in China, one of the largest smartphone markets in the world, Xiaomi started setting its eyes on abroad markets – mostly in Asia so far – and surged to the No.2 place in Indonesia in the wake of its coronation in India after outcompeting Samsung in India last year-end.

With a confidence boosted from success in some of the largest markets in Asia, coupled by a soon to be fetched war chest through stock flotation, Xiaomi has taken steps to venture west, with European markets as the first step, but eventually, Xiaomi expects to sell its assortment of smart devices in the U.S.

Xiaomi Senior Vice President WANG Xiang says at a launch event in Paris, ‘’Every morning I think about the U.S market and when we’ll launch there. But 2018 is the year of Europe’’, indicating the company’s stand at aggressive international expansion with a focus on Europe this year, even as it consolidates its home market with an initial public offering at the filing stage.

Known for the offer of quality phones at affordable prices, the company aims to replicate its success in India and Indonesia in the region. The biggest challenge and opportunity remains whether the European customers are convinced alongside flagship devices of Samsung Electronics Co, and Apple Inc.

Building on the confidence in its great success – reaching No 3 spot in Spain in the first quarter, being ranked No 1 smartphone vendor in India and the second largest smartphone marker in Indonesia, further entry into France and Italy is the ‘developed-market test’ for the company. If it succeeds, the United States will likely be the next bet.

A successful IPO to raise US$10 billion in Hong Kong public listing is crucial, especially with the oncoming price war to be expected with the series of expansions in Europe and brand-conservative Britain.

Editor: Ben Jiang