Xiaomi is reportedly considering a buy of troubled action camera company GoPro, in a move that would both bolster the Chinese smartphone maker’s US presence as well as strengthen its international channels.
According to reports originating from The Information, a deal could be worth around $1 billion, although Xiaomi is keen not to overpay. It was reported earlier this year that GoPro had said it was open to partnerships, while stopping short of stating it was seeking a buyer.
While Xiaomi has action camera products in its wider portfolio already, it does not have the presence in the market of GoPro. And, Bloomberg reported, GoPro sells in 30,000 outlets in 100 countries, which would enable Xiaomi to improve its international reach.
GoPro faced a number of challenges with its core business, particularly with regard to pricing pressure: in its most recent results, following price cuts, it said there “is demand for GoPro products at the right price”. But it needs to bring in new customers in order to upsell to them with future devices.
The camera company struggled with profitability and, so far, its efforts to build other revenue streams have deliver mixed results. It counts 130,000 subscribers for its $4.99 per-month Plus subscription service (offering cloud storage, discounts on accessories and enhanced service), but pulled out of the drone business having failed to generate traction.
And the GoPro brand is also well known in the markets in which it operates.
But there is always the question of whether the US would allow the acquisition of GoPro by a Chinese company, in the midst of a trade war with China and with Chinese companies out of favour in the country.