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Facing Pressure in China, Xiaomi Also Stalls in India

The worries for Xiaomi, the world’s second-highest-valued private tech firm, keep growing. Not only is it facing increasing competition in its home market of China; it has stalled in India, its first major attempt to branch out of China.

The brand launched in India in July of last year, grabbing about 4% of smartphone sales by the fourth quarter. But instead of growing, its market share has dipped slightly since then, according to IDC and other sources. That puts Xiaomi at about seventh or eighth place among phone sellers in the country, where 100 million smartphones will be sold this year. India, meanwhile, is expected become the No. 2 smartphone market globally, in terms of units sold, within the next couple of years.

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The cynical view on Xiaomi has been that the international strategy was actually meant to boost the company’s standing at home, and that the domestic business would be more than enough to justify a $100 billion public-market valuation someday. But now that there’s turmoil back home, the challenges of Xiaomi’s international growth mean it has a lot of work left to do to live up to its roughly $45 billion private market valuation.

Amir Efrati commented on this article.
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In India, Xiaomi is “just another low-cost phone hardware company,” says one rival executive.