Reuters: China's Xiaomi bets bigger on India retail stores
Chinese article by 爱集微
English Editor WM Zhang
07-18 16:27

By Li Panpan

(JW Insights) Jul 18 -- China's mobile phone giant Xiaomi will focus on boosting its India sales from retail outlets after years of big bets on e-commerce, reported Reuters on July 16.

Muralikrishnan B, head Xiaomi India, told Reuters, "Our market position in offline is substantially lower than what it is online," "Offline is where you have other competitors who have been executing fairly well and have a larger market share."

Xiaomi plans to expand its store network beyond the current 18,000 and increasingly partner with phone vendors to offer other products, such as Xiaomi TVs or security cameras, where Muralikrishnan said competition is less intense.

Just 34% of Xiaomi's India unit sales this year have come from retail stores, with the rest through websites that have long been its dominant sales generator, data from Hong Kong-based Counterpoint Research shows. Samsung, in contrast, gets 57% of its sales from stores, said Reuters.

Xiaomi found some partner stores that put its bright orange branding outside shops were displaying rival brands more prominently inside, a marketing issue the company would address, according to Muralikrishnan.

Xiaomi plans to hire more store promoters - salespeople who lure, pitch, and sell phones to prospective buyers inside outlets. It targets tripling the count to 12,000 promoters by the end of next year from early 2023 levels, Muralikrishnan said.

Another significant India challenge for Xiaomi is a federal agency's $673 million freeze on its bank assets since last year. The agency alleges Xiaomi made illegal remittances to foreign entities in the name of royalties. The company denies wrongdoing, said the Reuters report.

"We'll continue to be confident ... that ultimately our position will be heard and validated," Muralikrishnan said.

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