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Xiaomi targets big comeback in PHL

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The logo of Xiaomi is seen inside the company's office in Bengaluru, India, January 18, 2018. -- REUTERS

CHINESE PHONE manufacturer Xiaomi is optimistic it will regain traction in the Philippine market as it taps local online distribution channels and plans to open flagship stores outside Metro Manila.

“Actually, our main goal for the Philippines this time is to come back. We want to make a comeback so we didn’t really set how much we want to do. We want to, firstly, make the confidence of our movement first because we know we have been away for some time,” Regional Director John Chen told reporters on the sidelines of Xiaomi’s launch of new mobile phones on Monday, March 12. He added that they do not have any specific goals for sales so far.

Xiaomi stopped bring its products to the Philippines in 2015 in order to focus its resources on the Indian market.

“The goal for us is to actually make confidence in the market step by step so we want to make our channel partners, our online partners, our new friends, know that we are good and we are bringing a lot of product,” he added.

Xiaomi has partnered with online shopping companies Shopee and Lazada to market its products. The company is also opening its second flagship store, the Mi Store, in SM Megamall on March 17. It also plans to open three more Mi Stores, one in Metro Manila and two outside the city.

The company will be capitalizing on its status as the fourth largest smartphone vendor, according to the International Data Corporation, and its recent overtaking of Samsung as the number one vendor in India for the fourth quarter of 2017.

Its main smartphone offerings include the Redmi 5A, launched Monday and priced at P4,390 and the Redmi 5 Plus priced at P9,990, to be launched this week.

The entry-level Redmi 5A has a 13-megapixel rear camera, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 425 processor and a 3,000 mAh battery, while the Redmi 5 Plus features 4 Gb RAM and 64 Gb internal storage.

Mr. Chen emphasized the importance of the Philippine market in its expansion strategy for Southeast Asia.

“I think it’s one of the… equally important as other major markets in the region for me,” he said.

Mr. Chen added the company plans to put up more Mi Stores depending on its performance this year.

“We are not afraid of the competition. I think our only competitor is ourselves. We are going to outpace ourselves last year.” — Patrizia Paola C. Marcelo