China’s Xiaomi eyes ASEAN smartphone market

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Xiaomi phonesChinese mobile phone maker Xiaomi, dubbed the “Apple of the East” by Chinese media, is planning to expand into Southeast Asia in early 2014, according to the company’s press office. Singapore and Malaysia would be the first markets in the region to get Xiaomi phones.

So far, Xiaomi’s only major forays outside mainland China have been into Taiwan and Hong Kong. There, the company has stirred up considerable interest because of the company’s smart marketing that has created a hype around the brand similar to Apple.

Another reason is that Xiaomi’s phones are considerably cheaper. The “Hongmi”, for example, is priced at about $135. In mainland China Apple’s iPhone lists at $750 or more.

Xiaomi executives have said the company is on track to sell 19 million phones this year and plans to have twice as many sales in 2014.

Xiaomi’s phones use the Android operating system, developed by Google, but Google’s mobile application store, Google Play, is not officially available in China. That leaves plenty of room for alternative app stores and other content providers.

Yet analysts wonder whether Xiaomi can be equally successful abroad. For starters, competition will be fierce. In addition to giants like Samsung, other Chinese smartphone makers like Lenovo and Huawei have big plans for markets like Southeast Asia.

Mobile app stores like Google Play and Apple’s App Store are more established outside China, making one of Xiaomi’s big selling points less attractive unless it comes up with must-have content.

On the other hand, Xiaomi has hired on of Google’s top executives, Hugo Barra, to lead the international expansion drive.

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Reading Time: 1 minute

Chinese mobile phone maker Xiaomi, dubbed the “Apple of the East” by Chinese media, is planning to expand into Southeast Asia in early 2014, according to the company’s press office. Singapore and Malaysia would be the first markets in the region to get Xiaomi phones.

Reading Time: 1 minute

Xiaomi phonesChinese mobile phone maker Xiaomi, dubbed the “Apple of the East” by Chinese media, is planning to expand into Southeast Asia in early 2014, according to the company’s press office. Singapore and Malaysia would be the first markets in the region to get Xiaomi phones.

So far, Xiaomi’s only major forays outside mainland China have been into Taiwan and Hong Kong. There, the company has stirred up considerable interest because of the company’s smart marketing that has created a hype around the brand similar to Apple.

Another reason is that Xiaomi’s phones are considerably cheaper. The “Hongmi”, for example, is priced at about $135. In mainland China Apple’s iPhone lists at $750 or more.

Xiaomi executives have said the company is on track to sell 19 million phones this year and plans to have twice as many sales in 2014.

Xiaomi’s phones use the Android operating system, developed by Google, but Google’s mobile application store, Google Play, is not officially available in China. That leaves plenty of room for alternative app stores and other content providers.

Yet analysts wonder whether Xiaomi can be equally successful abroad. For starters, competition will be fierce. In addition to giants like Samsung, other Chinese smartphone makers like Lenovo and Huawei have big plans for markets like Southeast Asia.

Mobile app stores like Google Play and Apple’s App Store are more established outside China, making one of Xiaomi’s big selling points less attractive unless it comes up with must-have content.

On the other hand, Xiaomi has hired on of Google’s top executives, Hugo Barra, to lead the international expansion drive.

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