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China’s Xiaomi to start small in U.S., with earphones and bands

小米小碎步进军美国:先卖耳机和腕带.jpg


Xiaomi, China's largest smartphone company, will begin selling headphones, smart wristbands and other accessories online in the United States in coming months, taking its first tentative step onto Apple Inc's home turf without its signature Mi mobile devices.

未来几个月内,中国最大的智能手机企业小米将开始通过网店在美国销售耳机、智能腕带和其他配件。这是小米进入苹果公司大本营的初步尝试,其中不包括小米标志性的移动设备。

The company also said it is close to securing a manufacturing partner in Brazil, which will help it skirt punishing tariffs on imported electronics when it begins sales in Latin America's largest economy in the first half of this year.

小米还表示,即将和一家巴西制造企业结为合作伙伴。今年上半年小米的产品将在巴西这个拉美最大的经济体亮相,而制造合作伙伴将有助于小米绕开巴西政府对进口电子产品征收的惩罚性关税。

Xiaomi, a five-year-old upstart whose name means "Little Rice," came out of nowhere to become China's fastest-selling mobile brand. It has been rapidly expanding its global footprint through direct, online sales.

作为一家有五年历史的行业新贵,小米在一夜之间就成了中国销售增长最快的手机品牌。同时,该公司一直在通过直销和网络渠道迅速进行国际扩张。

The company was valued at $45 billion in a December funding round that drew investors ranging from Singapore's sovereign wealth fund to a private capital firm backed by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd co-founder Jack Ma.

在去年12月融资后,小米公司的价值达到了450亿美元。这次融资吸引的投资者既有新加坡主权财富基金,也有阿里巴巴的联合创始人马云所支持的私募公司。

Its Mi devices, which scored with Chinese users because of their low cost and the company's heavy reliance on user interaction and feedback, are now sold online across Asia, including most recently India.

由于成本低,再加上小米非常倚重与用户的互动以及用户反馈,小米移动设备颇受中国消费者青睐。现在,小米的网店已经覆盖了整个亚洲,包括最近刚刚涉足的印度市场。

Brazil marks the company's first foray with smartphones outside of its home continent. Global operations vice president Hugo Barra said Xiaomi intends to begin selling its phones there in the first half of this year.

巴西是小米智能手机在亚洲以外的第一站。该公司的全球业务副总裁雨果•巴拉表示,小米计划于今年上半年开始在巴西销售手机。

The company is in "extremely advanced discussions" with at least half a dozen manufacturing partners there, Barra, a former Google Inc executive, said without revealing names, which will help it side-step a roughly 60 percent tax on foreign electronics.

巴拉曾在谷歌的管理层任职,他说小米正在和至少六家巴西制造企业进行“极为深入的探讨”,但没有透露这些企业的名称。这将有助于小米规避巴西约60%的进口电子产品税。

The industry is particularly curious about Xiaomi's potential to make a dent in the United States, which is the world's biggest mobile market in dollar terms but one where phone sales are controlled by telecoms carriers and where Apple holds sway.

业界特别想知道小米在美国的发展潜力。美国是全球最大的移动设备市场,但美国的手机销售由电信公司控制,而且还有苹果这个行业霸主。

Co-founder and President Lin Bin told reporters on Thursday that Xiaomi will launch its first online sales site, Mi.com, in a few months, directly selling items from earphones to smart bands to American consumers.

小米的联合创始人及总裁林斌周四对记者表示,小米将在几个月内推出第一个网店Mi.com,向美国消费者直销小米耳机和智能腕带等产品。

The company is eschewing bigger-ticket items like phones and tablets for now partly because of the United States' carrier-sales and phone subsidy structure, which eliminates Xiaomi's cost advantage. More generally, Bin and Barra talked about the time and effort needed to tailor its MIUI Android-based operating systems for individual markets and obtain certification, among other things.

该公司暂时不会在美国推出手机和平板电脑等价格较高的产品,部分原因是美国的电信公司销售模式和手机补贴结构会让小米的成本优势化为乌有。此外,林斌和巴拉还提到,为各个市场量身定制基于安卓的米柚操作系统以及申请许可证等工作都需要投入时间和精力。

Xiaomi's main intention for now is to engage American consumers and try and build a community there the same way it has in China and India – through fan events, interaction with users on social media such as a dedicated Facebook page, and gradually coming to know both local preferences and building its brand.

目前,小米的主要目标包括接触美国消费者;像在中国和印度那样,举行粉丝活动并在Facebook等社交媒体上与用户互动,从而设法在美国建立小米社区;逐步了解本地市场偏好并打响品牌知名度。

2016-06-23

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