Xiaomi To Manufacturer Smartphones and Launch It’s Own E-commerce Site In India
Xiaomi has not even completed a year in India, and reports of expansion plans are already doing the rounds. Just today we heard that Xiaomi is looking to manufacture smartphones in India, and now a LiveMint report suggests that the company is building an e-commerce site too.
This falls in line with what Hugo Barra had told us earlier during an exclusive interview with BGR India. “Xiaomi wants to be an important player in this process as a hardware and software technology vendor, as an Internet services provider, as an e-commerce business, and as a major investor in the local startup ecosystem. The Mi India team is excited to be part of this journey which is set to transform the country,” he said.
The report cites a top executive stating that Xiaomi will launch its own e-commerce site in India in the early half of 2015, and is already in talks with multiple partners for tie-ups. It is expected to launch its own website once it gets approvals and puts operations in place. Xiaomi registered its local unit, Indian Xiaomi Technology India Pvt. Ltd in October 2014 in Bengaluru, and is rapidly ramping up its team in the country.
Barra further confirmed that Xiaomi is working step by step in building the e-commerce site. “Setting up own e-commerce platform is a complex task…it requires custom clearance, warehousing, payment integration, last-mile connectivity. We are talking to a number of partners… we don’t have specific launch date yet but it will happen sometime in first half of the next year,” he said.
This however does not mean the end of their relationship with Flipkart. Xiaomi’s own website will continue to work in parallel with Flipkart. Given that India does not allow foreign entities to sell online on their own, the company is in the middle of finalizing ways to set up its own e-commerce portal. “We are talking to different tax advisory firms, lawyers and trying to figure out what is the most efficient way of doing things both from a regulatory perspective and day-to-day operations perspective,” Xiaomi India operations head Manu Jain told the paper.
So far, Xiaomi has sold over 800,000 in India since its launch in July. Xiaomi was pulled into a bit of a controversy in October due to the IAF issue warning that said that the company’s devices posed a security threat. To resolve this, the Chinese smartphone company was forced to make the call of setting up a data centre in the country They are also migrating servers of other international markets to US and Singapore.
As mentioned earlier, Xiaomi is also planning to manufacture phones in India eventually. The Indian executives are in talks with manufacturing partners in China to extend their capabilities to India. This is reportedly a part of Xiaomi’s new strategy, wherein it will focus on its current markets rather than expand into new markets. It has put its plans for expanding into 10 new markets on a hold for now, so in essence launches in Thailand, Russia, Mexico, Brazil, and Turkey have been pushed to next year.