Smartphone and technology manufacturer Xiaomi will launch its products in France and Italy at the end of May. The company is best known in China and India, but has a strong following internationally due to its reasonably priced, but high-spec, products. In November, Xiaomi made its first major push into western Europe, when it announced both online and retail stores in Spain, selling its smartphones and connected Internet of Things (IoT) hardware in the country.
— Mi (@xiaomi) May 7, 2018
Using its official Twitter account, Xiaomi shared its plans with the tag line, “New player, new attitude,” and confirmed it will hold launch events in France on May 22 and in Italy on May 24. It has not said whether France and Italy will get the same range of devices and services as Spain, but Xiaomi has already put most of the European infrastructure for sales and support in place, so it seems likely Xiaomi’s big name devices will be available.
The announcement comes after Xiaomi formed an alliance with CK Hutchinson Telecom, which Xiaomi’s Senior Vice President Wang Xiang said, “Will accelerate our international expansion, bringing our amazing products at honest pricing across the world.” CK Hutchison operates the Three network in the U.K. and in other European countries. Through the alliance, Three will sell Xiaomi devices in the U.K., Sweden, Ireland, Austria, Denmark, Hong Kong, and Italy. It’s not clear whether CK Hutchison will also help facilitate Xiaomi’s launch in France.
In February, Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun said he intended to devote more resources to improving its international reach and reputation, and to increase the amount of staff working on “building international relationships.” The alliance with CK Hutchison and the announcement of a launch in France and Italy confirms how keen Xiaomi is to sell its products all over the world. Additionally, but without much official confirmation, Xiaomi is said to be targeting the U.S. market before the end of 2018 and actually sell smartphones, rather than a few connected products online. However, the push back against Huawei and ZTE may alter these plans.
Xiaomi’s French and Italian launch plans follow the company’s initial public offering (IPO) in Hong Kong, and the announcement of its latest phone, the Mi 6X.