Xiaomi plans gigantic effort to reach 10pc UK market share

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Xiaomi: Westfield store

Tech Data, Ingram and Brightstar tasked with distribution of up to two million Xiaomi devices

Xiaomi will officially launch in the UK this Thursday, with an aim of shipping two million smartphones and taking a 10 per cent share of the UK market by the end of 2019.

Sales and marketing director Wilkin Lee revealed the aspiration in an exclusive interview.

Lee, who was appointed in August, was a former sales and marketing director at Honor and also worked at Nokia. He leads the Xiaomi UK team and reports directly to head of Western Europe Ou Wen.

Xiaomi released its first smartphone in August 2011 and has rapidly gained market share in China to become the country’s largest smartphone company in 2014.

At the start of Q2 of 2018, Xiaomi was rated the world’s fourth-largest smartphone manufacturer.

It will launch a flagship smartphone on Thursday and open a Xiaomi ‘Mi Store’ in Westfield shopping centre in London’s White City this month, selling more than 100 products.

Three has been confirmed as its first UK operator partner to range its smartphones. Distribution is being handled by Tech Data, Ingram Micro and Brightstar.

Xiaomi was set up eight years ago and is known for selling high-spec smartphones at rock-bottom prices as well as gadgets such as scooters, smart cameras and robots.

This year alone, it has shipped over 100 million smartphones globally and last year it sold over 70 million.

Xiaomi made its European debut in Spain in May last year, releasing the Mi Mix 2.

In July this year, it announced a further European expansion. In its Q2 results – its first financials as a public firm – revenue hit 45.24 billion yuan (£5.09 billion), compared to expectations of 39.18 billion yuan.

Smartphone revenues were 30.5 billion yuan (£3.4bn), a 58.7 per cent year-on-year rise. Net profit was 14.63 billion yuan (£1.6bn), from a loss of 7.03 billion yuan in Q1.

Speaking to Mobile News, Lee said: “By the end of next year we want to achieve our 10 per cent target and will do so through key partnerships and, above all, great products at amazing prices.

“We’re aware the UK is a competitive market place, but what we’re thinking is the UK is ready for a smart connected brand such as Xiaomi.”

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