Xiaomi will come to the US, isn't afraid of politics

Xiaomi will come to the US, isn't afraid of politics

Xiaomi will press ahead with plans to enter the United States next year, politics be damned. The Chinese OEM has expressed confidence in its US connections and focus on consumer products to protect it from the political pressure that has rocked its compatriot companies.

Speaking to Reuters on Tuesday, Xiaomi Senior Vice President Wang Xiang maintained that the US market was “very attractive” and that the company was devoting its engineering resources to develop versions of its handsets that are compatible with US cell networks.

“Next year we hope we can do something there,” Wang said, although he admitted that talks with US carriers are yet to produce concrete agreements.

We've all got that friend who's confident about getting into the most exclusive clubs. "Don't worry," they say with a wink, "I've got connections". Well, from the looks of it, Xiaomi thinks it's the cool kid in the world of the Chinese OEMs.

It's a tough time for a Chinese firm looking to enter the US market. Increasing trade tension between China and the US as President Donald Trump champions tariffs on Chinese imports doesn't help, but the main concern has to do with the potential of high-tech devices to spy on US citizens.

AndroidPIT China
Red scare? Chinese tech companies often have close ties to the government. / © NextPit

National security concerns over the relationship of Chinese tech firms to the Communist Party have led to Huawei handsets such as the Mate 10 Pro being blacklisted by US carriers, and even the firm’s network equipment has been placed under scrutiny.

ZTE has also felt the heat, with the company almost shutting down after being barred from buying American components earlier this year as punishment for violating trade sanctions. On Monday, state-backed China Mobile Ltd became the latest Chinese telecom firm denied turned away by the bouncers for security reasons.

Trade war? Xiaomi's got friends in the right places

Who are these friends? Well, Wang cited Xiaomi’s relationships with suppliers such as US chipmaker Qualcomm and Alphabet Inc, which makes the Android operating system via Google.

“We don’t see any reason for us to get into that political problem”

According to Wang, the tense political environment introduced “uncertainty” but that Xiaomi remains undaunted and will continue with plans for expansion into the US. “We don’t see any reason for us to get into that political problem,” said Wang, who ran Qualcomm’s China operations before joining Xiaomi in 2015.

AndroidPIT Xiaomi Mi Mix 2S 6
The Mi Mix 2S has a beautiful bezel-less design without a notch. / © NextPit

Wang stated that Xiaomi was strictly focused on the consumer market and that many of its engineers and investors were American. This would help the company have a smoother entry into a difficult market.

Xiaomi's devices could shake up a stagnant US market

Xiaomi is known for low-priced, high-performance smartphones,and if they could score the right deals with carriers, the introduction of impressive devices such as the Mi Mix 2S or the Mi 8 could really give the market a shake-up and force dominant players Apple and Samsung to react to the cheaper competition. 

Take a look at the latest Xiaomi flagship, the Mi 8, in our unboxing video:

That's not all. The Chinese firm also offers online services and a range of consumer electronics products such as cleaning robots and cheap wearables like the popular Mi Band 3.

Xiaomi has been losing ground to competitors in its home ground of China but has more than made up for this with international success. The brand is now the biggest smartphone vendor in India and is pushing into European markets including Spain and Russia. You know what they say, a prophet is often underappreciated in their own country.

Here at AndroidPIT we've generally been impressed with the quality and design of Xiaomi devices, that definitely deserve to be appreciated by a wider market. Only time will tell if Xiaomi's connections will be enough let them through the door and grant them success in the US, or if worsening political tension will leave them on the curb, but one thing's for sure: Xiaomi isn't afraid.

What do you think of Xiaomi devices being sold stateside? Are there any that you'd like to get your hands on?

Source: Reuters

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  • CJ Brown Jul 6, 2018 Link to comment

    Xiaomi - bypass trying to sell at Best Buy and go straight for the No Contract Market (MetroPCS, Cricket Wireless, Boost, TracPhone, Straight Talk) and show Us what you got! 👍😁

  • Rusty H. Jul 6, 2018 Link to comment

    It's not the federal government per se, you have to be fearful of Xiaomi. It's the LOBBYIST hired by the Apple/Samsung duopoly in the USA you should be afraid of. They don't want ANYONE upsetting their little duopoly with the likes of at&t & Verizon. Unless you get carrier branding, consumers will buy from the carrier stores, because they can spread out the payments over 24 months. Since that is allowed, Apple/Samsung/carrier stores still sell pretty much at FULL RETAIL, more profit for them, more expensive for consumers, who after years and years of the 2 year contract, are "ok" with making monthly payments for a new phone.
    Unless Xiaomi can saddle up with the carriers, which can knock the price down, or, Xiaomi takes a bath in hopes of getting brand loyalty in the states, the lobbyist will toss a ton of money at the U.S. representatives & senators, to put the FCC on notice to tell the carriers not to carry this phone, for fear of "spying". Since the FCC controls whatever the carriers want to do, if the FCC issues a warning, the carriers will comply.

    • Bruce Lee Jul 6, 2018 Link to comment

      Apple/Samsung have plenty of competition in the US, even without Xiaomi. Samsung, especially, is facing lots of pressure from all Chinese OEMs. So even without Xiaomi, Samsung will have its work cut out.

  • BruinGuy Jul 6, 2018 Link to comment

    “Next year we hope we can do something there,”
    As a famous football coach once said, "Hope is not a strategy."

  • David Martrano Jul 4, 2018 Link to comment

    I say let them in, let them all in. The competition would be a wonderful thing. Plus it would also help the prices drop!

    • Dwarfer66 Jul 5, 2018 Link to comment

      I agree, stop trying to protect apple and have some bloody competition. At least here In Australia we can get those "red devices from china". lol

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