Rumors of a US charge by one of China’s largest smartphone manufacturers have floated around the industry for several years now, but although Xiaomi’s top executives never denied their interest in an eventual expansion, they also constantly hesitated to offer a specific timeline.
Meanwhile, the company grew and grew domestically, as well as across neighboring territories, slowly ramping up its ambitions and retail presence on the old continent. Basically, there’s not much of the world left to conquer for Xiaomi’s sometimes crazy affordable phones, but at the same time, the US market seems like a tougher than ever nut to crack.
While agreeing the current political climate introduces “uncertainty” in the equation, Senior Vice President Wang Xiang stressed in a short discussion with Reuters on Tuesday that Xiaomi’s intention is to “do something” stateside at some point next year.
Android handsets “compatible with US cellphone networks” are apparently being developed as we speak, but obviously, we wouldn’t count on seeing these mysterious products actually sold through American carriers after the last-minute collapse of Huawei’s negotiations with AT&T and Verizon.
Of course, Xiaomi has the advantage of focusing squarely on consumer hardware sales rather than also manufacturing telecommunications equipment, which could help it escape the scrutiny of the US government. As long as it doesn’t get involved in any shady business with Iran or North Korea, that is.
For his part, Wang Xiang sees no reason for the company to “get into that political problem”, continuing talks with US carriers that are “yet to produce concrete agreements”, and strengthening relations with Qualcomm and Alphabet-owned Google.