Xiaomi Shanghai Flagship Store (image credit: Xiaomi Official Weibo)

Xiaomi’s new strategy for public relations is label it as an Amazon-style company instead of China’s Apple, — Lei Jun, co-founder and CEO of Xiaomi, said in an interview with Reuters that the difference lies in the fact his company mainly makes money from Internet services instead of hardware. However, the company is still on its way to finishing the mission of establishing an Apple business model in China: opening retail stores.

Xiaomi is to open 18 flagship retail stores by the end of this year, co-founder Li Wanqiang told Yicai on Nov. 18th at the opening ceremony of Xiaomi Shanghai store.

A couple of months ago when Xiaomi announced the first one, sources said that the store was updated from a previous Xiaomi repair&service center. It is confirmed by Li that all the upcoming retail stores are existing Xiaomi repair&service centers.

The full Xiaomi product family, including the Xiaomi mascot doll, will be sold in those stores. Mr. Li disclosed that over 500,000 dolls have been sold. The total sales from accessories are expected to reach one billion yuan (over $160 mn) by year end.

Tracey Xiang is Beijing, China-based tech writer. Reach her at traceyxiang@gmail.com

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