The Chinese Xiaomi comes out to conquer the world

Bin Lin’s office is small, austere and full of stuffed animals. You could say it is inappropriate for the president of a large Chinese corporation has proposed to sell 20 million mobile phones this year and has logged 1.65 billion euros in the first half. His treatment is also surprising: it is close; he joked when poses in front of the camera and has no problem in triple the duration agreed to the interview. But he is not anyone of a company. Although many insist on calling it ‘the Apple of China’, Xiaomi is different. “We want to make technology accessible to everyone”, says Lin.

And just a trip on the metro line that the Asian giant to be convinced that they are getting. Just a couple of years, the Chinese fingers caressed proudly displays large international producers of smartphones. Those who could not get hold of a foreign company terminal ashamed of its Chinese products, generally of poor quality, design abominable and worse customer service. Today, however, the situation has changed. And Xiaomi, a company with less than four years of life that only the last two launched its first device that sells only online, is taking over the cars.


Not surprisingly, in the first six months of this year as many phones sold around 2012 -7.08 million-, took 5% of the world market-Apple greedy fell to 4.8% – and he converted to the Xiaomi flagship-2S-on mobile country’s most popular, ahead of Samsung’s Galaxy 4 and the Apple iPhone 5, according to data from the consulting laboratory specializing in Antutu. Undoubtedly, this success has much to see the price: the Mi2S, with a 32GB internal memory, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 to 1.7 GHz and components specific to the higher-end products, sold to 1799 yuan (225 euros), less than half of what they cost foreign competitors.

In fact, earlier this month the waiting list had rocketed to 3.5 million, and the first 100,000 devices that are put on sale sold out in 90 seconds. In the absence of terminals, online there are people willing to buy the Hongmi for double the price, something that only looked so far with noble brands. “We feel that our customers have to wait so long, but it’s that demand multiplied by 10 our expectations”, said the Managing Director of the brand, Lei Jun, during the presentation of the last Xiaomi, the Mi3 at September 5 in Beijing.

But it seems that the production deficit will solved soon because the new terminal, equipped with the fastest processor in the world, a Qualcomm 2.3 GHz, will sell for 1999 yuan (250 euros). The reserves there are already millions, and various Chinese analysts believe that if the company sells over 20 million this year precisely because the factories will not cope. And users are on track to become fans as Apple, shows that one of the achievements of the brand has been created, with the help of a pet that is a samurai wearing a Chinese aviator hat, a fresh, young and innovative. So it is not surprising that Xiaomi is already valued at 10,000 million dollars, more than what Microsoft has paid to seize business phones from Nokia.

But what Xiaomi will be able to manage its success? Its detractors don’t think so. They say in the competition that its pace of expansion is too rapid, that it is impossible to do business with those prices – Lin Bin acknowledges that they just win with the sale of the devices – and service aftermarket deteriorates. And now Xiaomi entered like a bull in a china shop in the TV business with Xiaomi TV, a 3D display of 47 inches to be sold in October 2999 yuan (375 euros). And everyone expects to soon reach the expected tablet, a device that recognizes that Lin Bin interested. ‘Let’s make what we manufacture, are products that excite users and costing a fraction of the equivalent of our competitors”, said the president.

The Foreign Conquest

Despite it is not even capable of responding to the demand from China; Xiaomi already looks outside its borders. And it wants to launch its invasion style. Hence it has given a ringing bell with the signing of Hugo Barra, before Google vice president and head of Android, which in October will be responsible for the internationalization of the brand. It will not be easy. One of the main objectives of the bar will be separated to Xiaomi of all the negative aspects associated with the label made in China.

“The brand image will be a challenge abroad as for any other Chinese company”, recognizes the country the President of the company, Lin Bin. “But I think the transparency and the fact that we use the best components available is enough to not run late word of mouth. Indeed, our name and starts ringing”. Media such as The Economist and The New York Times have devoted extensive reports, and there are those who predict that the new Apple iPhone 5C, which theoretically would make the delights of Chinese, will crash because of the competition that makes Xiaomi.

But most important is that the company reflects well the new phase of development of the country, that in which it no longer copied and manufactured with poor quality. “We are innovating, and we can not forget that here also produce large multinationals in this industry. But it will take time to eliminate the perception of poor quality, which in some cases is well deserved”, says Lin. However, to this point Xiaomi wants to be on the top of the grid.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.