It looks like Chinese smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi could soon have a new market. The company only just announced its IPO on the the Hong Kong stock exchange, but now it’s officially partnering with United Kingdom carrier Three to sell its phones in the U.K.
We don’t know exactly when Xiaomi’s phones will start being sold by Three, but the companies have said that they’re “coming soon.” Xiaomi has been attempting to make its way into more markets of late — it started selling its devices in Spain in November. Not only that, but the new partnership is actually with Three’s parent company Hutchison and will result in Xiaomi’s phones also being sold in Austria, Denmark, Hong Kong, and Sweden, according to a report from The Guardian.
While Xiaomi may not be a well-known brand in the United States, it’s pretty huge in other markets. It’s actually the highest selling brand in India, and the fourth-highest selling smartphone brand globally. The company built a name for itself selling phones that look very similar to Apple’s devices, but at a much lower price point and running Android instead of iOS. Its recent phones have actually gotten some pretty good reviews — we very much liked the budget Xioami Mi A1, which offers Android One, and we found the Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 to be an excellent purchase.
The news comes at a time when Chinese smartphone manufacturers have a strained relationship with the U.S. government. Stateside agencies have warned against using smartphones made by both Huawei and ZTE, and have even banned sales of these devices on U.S. military bases, arguing that they pose a risk to national security. What that means is that these companies are likely to double their efforts in other markets such as Europe and Asia.
Of course, just because Huawei and ZTE are facing challenges in the U.S., that doesn’t mean Xiaomi will as well. Reports published in March suggest that it intends to start selling its phones in the U.S. as soon as later this year — though only time will tell if it faces the same challenges as other Chinese manufacturers.