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Xiaomi's Indian Business Decreases in 2019 Q1
COVID-19 and China
Mi home. Photo: Credit to Xiaomi

Counterpoint, a market research institute published its statistics for 2019 Q1, which showed that in 2019 Q1, Xiaomi’s smartphone shipment decreased 2% in the Indian market. The decrease shows that Xiaomi might be kind of tired under the violent competition, and actually, Xiaomi is facing besieging from many strong competitors. The Indian smartphone market has the fastest increasing speed among the world’s 20 smartphone markets, which attracts a lot of smartphone players from all over the world. Chinese manufacturers play important roles in India, and Xiaomi, as one of the largest smartphone manufacturers in China, keeps ranking the 1st in term of the smartphone shipment in the Indian market, from the past 6 quarters.

 

The Chinese smartphone market has been decreasing in 2 years. In 2019 Q1, the total smartphone shipment in the Chinese market has a year-on-year decrease rate of 10.7%. With a decreasing domestic market, the Indian market becomes increasingly important for Chinese manufacturers, such as Xiaomi, Vivo, and Oppo. Samsung, as the world’s largest smartphone manufacturer, kept ranking 1st place before Xiaomi’s evolvement. After being exceeded by Xiaomi, Samsung has promoted its products in the Indian market and published more M series smartphones on its online market in order to gain more market shares in India.

Vivo and Oppo are popular Chinese smartphone brands. With many new smartphone models, Vivo and Oppo’s smartphone shipments increased during the 2018 Q4, while Xiaomi has decreased by 35% in the Chinese market. Oppo, even published “Realme” brand on the Indian market, from April 2019. Other competitors including Nokia, which used to be the king of the mobile phone industry. In China, Nokia used to publish the high price-performance ratio phones to occupy the market share but finally failed. After that, Nokia behaves actively in the Indian market and published many kinds of smartphone models with a price of less than CNY 1000.

Xiaomi’s success in the Indian market is kind of similar to its success in China several years ago. The business model is almost the same: Xiaomi publishes high price-performance ratio smartphones in the Indian online market and rapidly increase its brand recognition in the Indian market with hunger marketing strategies. After being famous in India, Xiaomi began to establish its offline stores and future occupy the Indian market. In India, the Redmi series is the most popular smartphone models in India. According to Xiaomi, the new flagship model of Redmi, the Redmi Note 7, has shipped more than 1 million in the Indian market. However, with Vivo, Oppo’s efforts, as well as Samsung’s publications, Xiaomi’s market position has been challenged. The smartphones from Samsung, Vivo, and Oppo, have the same price-performance ratios, which offers more choices to Indian customers.       

Though Xiaomi plans to establish more than 1000 Mi home in India, it can hardly maintain its dominating market position with the increasing coemption from other manufacturers. In addition, Xiaomi’s low-profit margin leads to a low net profit of its retail partners, thus many distributors choose Vivo and Oppo as partners. Xiaomi’s declining business in China might be the future of its Indian market, and that’s may be one of the reasons for Xiaomi’s expansion in Latin America. On Apr 28, 2019, Xiaomi opens its first Mi home in San Diego, Chile. In 2019, Xiaomi plans to establish 6 Mi home in Chile, which aims to promote the recognition of Xiaomi brand in Chile.  

 

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