Chinese smartphone titan Xiaomi is planning to enter Japan in 2020 by offering their comparable flagships at a lower price point in an effort to displace market leader Apple, who currently controls over half of the smartphone market in the country.
Wang Xiang, head of Xiaomi’s international operations, disclosed the plans on Monday, November 4. Xiaomi will offer multiple models, along with their recently debuted wearable devices. Initially, Xiaomi products in Japan will be available exclusively through the company’s own online and offline sales channels.
While Japanese consumers have voiced similar concerns to the US in the past about the Chinese telecom industry’s data security, Wang Xiang cited Xiaomi’s record of respecting data privacy, “We cooperate with [companies] like Google. We have a track record of respecting personal data protection rules in Europe, and we’ll do the same in Japan.”
Wang was not precise about when Xiaomi will enter Japan, but did say that it should be feasible in 2020, depending on device performance testing. Xiaomi will establish a Japanese subsidiary to enter the new market.
Xiaomi has had impressive success abroad, as they are the most popular smartphone brand in India, with 28% of the market share, and generate 40% of their revenue outside their domestic market. The international expansion strategy has recently included forays into Europe, Russia, Africa and Southeast Asia. As a result, the number of Mi Home stores now sits at 520, which is more than double the number of stores in operation just a year ago.
Wang Xiang did not provide details as to whether Xiaomi would provide market-specific products in Japan like they have done in India for example, with the Xiaomi Electric Razor.