After foraying into big European markets like the UK and France last year, Xiaomi is now readying itself to set foot on yet another big continent – Africa – suggested reports from Chinese media today. Xiaomi has made some major changes to its brand image early on this year, most notably by separating the Redmi series as an independent entity. And as per reports, Xiaomi’s Mobile Overseas division is preparing for a debut in Africa. The company has already established an African Regional Department, and it will reportedly be headed by VP of Xiaomi, Wang Lingming.
Entering the vast African continent seems a logical choice at this time mainly because other markets like China itself have shown signs of a slowdown in 2018. India is another big market for the company, which is facing huge competition and wafer-thin margins with each passing year. In contrast, Africa is a big opportunity where there is a lot of untapped potential for Xiaomi.
As per a study by German research outfit Gfk, the Middle East and Africa will be the new avenues of growth for the global smartphone industry. Xiaomi has already entered the Middle East and Africa still remain unchartered territory. Moreover, overseas sales contribute to almost half of Xiaomi’s revenues, which is a significant source. As such, the company cannot afford to overlook the opportunity.
However, that’s not to say that Xiaomi will not face established players and competition in the new continent. Samsung remains a big entity in the African continent as do some other Chinese players like Transsion, Huawei, itel, and Infinix. As per a research by Canalys for Q1 2018, Samsung was the leader in the market with strong year-on-year growth of 42 percent.
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While the company’s plans to enter the market are already underway, we are yet to officially hear when Xiaomi will actually start its sales and product launches that will be announced. The Redmi brand would be our first bet for the price-sensitive market as it was the first to debut in India.