Xiaomi is pushing ahead with plans to enter the US smartphone market despite challenges faced by Chinese companies operating in the country, reports state.
The US market is “very attractive” and the company is adding engineering resources to tailor products for US networks, SVP Wang Xiang told Reuters. While not the first time Xiaomi was linked to a US debut, the changing political situation could have dampened its ardour.
In recent months, ZTE was on the end of swingeing restrictions preventing it from accessing US technology, after it was accused of misleading the Department of Commerce (DoC) in talks related to breaking an embargo on the sale of US goods to Iran.
This week the DoC also advised China Mobile should not be given a US operating licence, citing security concerns.
Huawei, too, has not only seen its network infrastructure activities banjaxed, but also failed to secure operator support for its flagships when a deal was seen as imminent.
Reuters quoted Wang as saying the political situation introduced “uncertainty”, but pointed out it already works with Google (Android) and Qualcomm (Snapdragon processors).
After initially focusing its efforts largely on India and China, Xiaomi expanded the markets it operates in across Asia and Europe. If it is able to enter the US, it will find a market where some key rivals are absent and there is likely to be an opening for its high-specification, mid-priced devices.
The company does already sell some accessories and other products in the country, but not smartphones.
With its shares set to be listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange imminently, Xiaomi is also set to receive a cash injection.