Xiaomi partners with Hutchinson’s Three to sell smartphones in the UK. The world’s fourth-largest smartphone maker ‘Xiaomi’ will begin selling its smartphones in the UK after making its name for selling high-end phones at rock-bottom prices in China and other developing markets, like India.
The company has partnered with Hutchinson’s Three for this purpose. Xiami’s partnership with Hutchinson will lead the company to get its phones sold through Three stores in the UK, Ireland, Austria, Denmark, Hong Kong and Sweden as well.
Xiaomi made its first move into western Europe by debuting in Spain in November 2017.
The firm has announced its IPO on the Hong Kong stock exchange seeking to raise minimum $10 billion (£7.3bn), in the largest offering since Chinese e-commerce conglomerate Alibaba’s $25 billion listing in New York in 2014.
Tom Malleschitz, Three UK’s chief digital officer, says “We have been watching Xiaomi’s success from afar and are impressed with the huge range of connected devices that they currently offer”. He also says that it opens the door to Xiaomi’s other connected devices like smart home appliances.
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$10bn fundraising of the company could value Xiaomi at up to $100 billion, making it the 3rd largest Chinese tech firm by value behind so-called national champions Tencent & Alibaba.
Xiaomi is the eight-year-old company that first cultivated a following in China by selling imitations of Apple’s iPhone at half the price of the real product. This step of the company resulted in Xiaomi’s being hit with threats of patent infringement which were seen as keeping Xiaomi out of the west.
Xiaomi claims to be “triathlete” of Chinese tech firms with most of its revenue coming from smartphone sales, sold at low-profit margin. The rest of the company’s revenue comes from selling smart household gadgets – rice cookers, scooters or air conditioners etc– and online services like entertainment and financial service apps.
For majority of its revenues, Xiaomi still depends on China to control the foreseen saturation of the company.
It happened for the first time in five years that smartphone shipments dipped below 100m in the first quarter of 2018.
Though Xiaomi phones are popular with first-time buyers, shoppers often upgrade to Apple’s iPhone or other phones in their later purchases.