Xiaomi’s official EU and UK entry is a bigger deal than you think
If you’ve been reading our site for any length of time, you’re probably familiar with Xiaomi. Its main goal has always been to deliver well-crafted products at an affordable price. For years, the company has been dubbed the Apple of China since many of its products appear to be inspired by Apple’s design choices, but that designation has only made Xiaomi more popular in China and other countries across Asia.
Like Oppo and Huawei, Xiaomi is one of the leading smartphone brands in China and recently surpassed Samsung in India, becoming the number one smartphone manufacturer in the world’s second-largest market.
Until now, the company’s success has been limited to select Asian markets, but that’s about to chance. Yesterday, it submitted documents for its long-awaited IPO which would list the company on Hong Kong’s stock market. Analysts estimate that Xiaomi’s IPO will be valued at $10 billion, making it the largest IPO since 2014.
Along with the internal changes that are required when a company switches from private to public ownership, Xiaomi also announced that it is officially entering Europe and the UK. Its phones will soon show up in Three stores in the UK, Austria, Denmark, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, and Sweden. The company is also partnering with retailers like CK Hutchison, Watson’s Fortress, Superdrug, and Kruidvat and is planning on having its products show up in other retail chains across Europe before the end of the year.
While Xiaomi’s success was kickstarted with its entry into the smartphone space, the company’s portfolio is much broader than most people realize. Think of Xiaomi as a direct competitor to Samsung, LG, and other manufacturers who offer a much wider product portfolio than your traditional smartphone manufacturers like Huawei, HTC, or Oppo. They sell the usual array of smartphone accessories like Bluetooth headphones and speakers, action cameras, smart watches, fitness trackers and power banks, but Xiaomi also offers electric scooters and bikes, high-end Windows laptops, air purifiers, smart LED lighting solutions, TVs, drone, mirrorless cameras, and much more.
Xiaomi doesn’t sell any products that are truly unique, but the company has garnered a huge following due to its design choices and competitive pricing. When Apple and Samsung sell a flagship smartphone, Xiaomi does the same while charging its customers 30-40% less. And that’s why everyone in China and India loves the company so much. Xiaomi has always sold its products with razor-thin profit margins, but the company’s CEO recently pledged to cap Xiaomi’s post-tax profits at just 5%.
Today our CEO Lei Jun announced a promise to all our fans…#Xiaomi will forever limit the net profit margin after tax for our entire hardware sales (including smartphones, IoT and lifestyle products) to a maximum of 5%.
Do you like the sound of that? pic.twitter.com/ZbEjaVeBLf
— Mi (@xiaomi) April 25, 2018
Europe and the UK have always had plenty of options when it comes to electronics, but Xiaomi would be the first company to deliver compelling products without gouging its customers. Based on the company’s unprecedented growth over the past eight years, Xiaomi is well-positioned to take on its competitors in Europe.
Do you think Xiaomi has what it takes to win over new customers in the west? If you’ve never purchased a Xiaomi device, what would it take for you to make the switch?