Xiaomi postpones expansion plans

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The world’s third biggest smartphone maker, Xiaomi Corp, is postponing plans to expand into five countries as it shifts its focus to boosting production.

According to Hugo Barra, vice president in charge of global operations, Xiaomi and electronics manufacturer Foxconn Technology Group are discussing producing phones in Brazil and India. He added that the company might also consider producing phones in Indonesia.

Barra explained that the company’s focus is to add one market at a time. “Earlier this year, we talked about wanting to be in 10 markets within [the year]. We realised that if we are to stay sharply focused, we can’t do that, so we scaled back.”

Lei Jun, Xiaomi’s founder and chief executive, pushed the four-year-old company beyond its home turf this year to Singapore, India, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines. This growth helped the company jump past other mainland phone makers to trail only Samsung and Apple.

Meanwhile, entering markets such as Russia, Thailand, Brazil, Turkey and Mexico will have to wait for next year.

“They should be sure they have solid plans for the markets they do enter,” stated Gartner’s Shanghai-based analyst, Sandy Shen.

“If time can buy them good performance in even fewer markets, that still makes sense.”

Xiaomi does not have the manufacturing capacity to produce its own phones. Instead, it depends on contract manufacturers such as Inventec Corp and Foxconn’s FIH Mobile.

Although the company pushed back expansion plans in some markets, India will be a focus for the following years to come, said Barra.

Xiaomi has sold over half a million low-cost phones in India since the company expanded there in July.

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