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Xiaomi expands into Africa to offset sales slowdown at home

Xiaomi, Chinese smartphone maker, Xiaomi in Africa

On to Africa!

小米杀入非洲了!

Once the world's most valuable startup, Xiaomi, the Chinese smartphone maker praised for cheap but 'high-spec' phones, is expanding sales to Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa in a bid to keep smartphone growth growing as its home market in mainland China slows down.

小米手机以低价"高质"广受欢迎,一度成为全球估值最高的创业公司。随着中国内地智能手机销售增长放缓,小米为保持增速正努力拓展海外市场,最新进展是,小米已打入非洲的尼日利亚、肯尼亚和南非。

Driving Xiaomi's ascent in China was as a capital-light business: no stores, no company-owned factories, little paid marketing.

小米在中国崛起的独门绝技是轻资产模式:不设实体店,没有下属工厂,几乎不花钱做市场推广。

The deal in Africa, with South Africa-based Mobile in Africa Limited, is much the opposite: a traditional approach with an increasingly commoditized product in smartphones. Xiaomi's South African partner will lead imports, marketing and support for phones sales, the Wall Street Journal noted.

可这次小米在非洲和南非公司Mobile in Africa Limited的合作模式却截然不同:对越来越商品化的智能手机仍然选择了传统的销售方式。《华尔街日报》报道指出,小米的南非合作伙伴会负责小米手机在非洲的进口和营销工作,并提供售后服务。

It's unclear how Xiaomi will gain traction in markets like India, Brazil and now Africa, as it has said it wants to, if it follows the same model as local competitors.

从印度、巴西到现在的非洲市场,如果采用与当地竞争对手相同的模式,小米要怎样赢得理想的市场份额我们尚不清楚。

In India this past quarter, for instance, Xiaomi's sales experienced their first quarter-to-quarter decline after expanding there last year— almost a 46% tumble "due to fierce competition from Lenovo and Micromax's Yu brands especially in the higher volume sub-$100 segment," says Counterpoint Research. It doesn't rank in India's top five market share. And if anything, Xiaomi needs to be present in India more than it does in those three African markets, all of which together have barely one-fifth of India's population.

比如在印度,自去年进入该市场以来,今年第三季度小米的销售业绩首次出现环比下滑,当季降幅接近46%。市场调研机构Counterpoint Research认为,如此大跌源于"联想和印度本地手机制造巨头Micromax的Yu品牌等对手的激烈竞争,特别是在销量更高的100美元以下手机市场。"如今,小米在印度的市场占有率还未挤进前五强。说到底,小米在印度市场站稳脚跟比开发上述三个非洲国家更为重要,那三个国家的人口加起来,都赶不上印度人口的五分之一。

Xiaomi's also hurting in its home market of mainland China, and that's more than just a result of market saturation. Chinese competitors have stepped up their efforts to steal Xiaomi's crown. Research firm Canalys said Huawei passed Xiaomi for the highest market share in the third quarter.

另外,小米在大本营中国内地的表现也不容乐观,挑战不仅来自市场饱和,还有中国国内的对手一直在努力从小米手中夺走龙头位置。市场调研公司易观国际此前表示,三季度华为已超越小米,在内地市场的占有率晋升第一。

2016-06-23

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