Xiaomi beefs up market share

Mr Kang says the marketing budget for Xiaomi Thailand is rising 100%.

Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi is gearing up to increase its market share in the high-end handset segment and roll out new Internet of Things (IoT) products, including electric vehicles (EVs).

Xiaomi climbed to the top spot for the first time in the Thai market with a market share of 21% in the second quarter, based on a report by global analyst Canalys.

It reached No.2 in global smartphone shipments for the first time with a market share of 16.7%.

The firm wants to maintain its leading position in Thailand.

"Thailand is an important market and we will increase our marketing budget by 100% in 2021 to continue this growth momentum," Jonathan Kang, country manager of Xiaomi Thailand, said in virtual press briefing.

The company expanded its sales to more than 100 overseas markets, ranking among the top five in 65 markets and No.1 in 22 markets, including Thailand.

Xiaomi emphasised retail branch expansion, with more than 1,000 branches outside of China and India this year.

In the first half this year, the Thai smartphone market grew 16%, a similar rate as in the global market, he said.

"The local smartphone market should have better growth this year compared with last year as smartphones have become essential tools for everyday life. Purchasing power remains in the premium and mid-priced ranges," said Mr Kang.

Xiaomi's higher marketing budget is expected to drive sales in the premium smartphone segment.

In the local smartphone market, entry-level handsets costing less than 6,500 baht account for 65% of the market share, followed by mid-range devices costing 6,500 to 16,300 baht at 35%, then premium products costing more than 16,300 baht at 10%.

To maintain its leading position, Xiaomi plans to increase the number of MI stores from 38 in September to 100 by year-end. By that time, 40% of MI stores will be located in Bangkok and the rest in the provinces.

"In prime and densely populated areas, we will have larger shops to provide after-sales services," he said.

The company also aims to offer more smart appliances, said Mr Kang.

Xiaomi's most popular appliances are air purifiers, smart bands and smart TVs.

IoT products account for 10% of Xiaomi revenue in Thailand and smartphones make up 90%.

Xiaomi recently entered the smart EV business under a wholly owned subsidiary with an investment of 50.7 billion baht.

The company attributes its strong growth to its core strategy "Smartphone x AIoT" that refers to Artificial Intelligence of Things connectivity in parallel, he said.

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