Xiaomi eyeing Russian launch, facing threat in Taiwan

Xiaomi eyeing Russian launch, facing threat in Taiwan

24 SEP 2014

Fast-growing Chinese device maker Xiaomi is apparently set to continue its global expansion by moving into the Russian market, a step away from the Asian territories where it has generally played to date.

According to reports originating in Russia, the company is planning to offer a full range of products, including its smart TVs as well as smartphones and tablets.

Russia was included on a list of target markets for Xiaomi earlier this year, after ramping up its efforts in Asia.

Xiaomi recently launched in India, a market that Hugo Barra, its VP of international operations, described as “probably the most demanding customer I have encountered in my career”.

The company has partnered with online retailer Flipkart in this country, and has adopted the process of ‘flash’ sales used in other markets – where limited numbers of devices are made available in batches.

Another non-Asian market, Brazil, has proved challenging for Xiaomi, with reports of delays related to device certification. Barra said that Brazil and India are likely to be one of its biggest markets outside of China.

However, the handset maker is under investigation by the Taiwanese government as a cybersecurity threat, according to Reuters.  A decision is expected within three months.

Some of Xiaomi’s handsets route data automatically to its servers in China, potentially leading to security breaches, according to a government statement.

It is unclear whether the company’s devices face a potential ban in Taiwan.

This is not the first time that Xiaomi has run into these kind of problems. Just last month the company was forced to apologise after it was revealed that devices were sending subscriber data to its servers.

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Steve Costello

Steve works across all of Mobile World Live’s channels and played a lead role in the launch and ongoing success of our apps and devices services. He has been a journalist...More

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