Xiaomi has its sights set on international expansion outside of China. Even though the company is launching an online store for Europe and the U.S. it won’t be selling smartphones and tablets through that portal, only accessories. On the other hand Xiaomi has already moved into some emerging markets close to home like India where it is competing fiercely on price. The company has outlined ambitious plans of increasing its presence in India, it is going to open up 100 stores in the country this year alone.
The company is going to further increase its investment in the country and is going to start local production of its devices in India within the next 12 to 18 months. Xiaomi first entered the Indian market in July last year. In five months only it was able to sell more than one million handsets.
Hugo Barra, Xiaomi’s vice president of international operations, tells Reuters “We want to invest deeply in this market, we want to have a significant amount of research and development done here — not only for India but the rest of the world.”
Barra said that the company is scouting locations in the country to set up a manufacturing unit and for this purpose it has starting talking with local partners and state governments. He expects that this process is going to take up to an year.
Xiaomi has largely been selling its devices through a local online retail partner, it now intends to set up stores of its own, 100 in 2015 alone where customers will just be able to walk in and “experience” its devices.
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