Xiaomi staff in uproar over Mi Store management issues

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Chinese smart devices maker Xiaomi is facing internal turmoil when on October 11 the official Weibo of its Nanjing flagship store posted a disturbing post that channels staff dissatisfaction over its management, local media is reporting.

Screenshot of the Weibo blog (Image credit: Weibo)

“From today, there will be no Nanjing flagship Mi Store any longer. You [probably referring to Mi Store management] are trampling on the bodies our brothers who work for their meager incomes. Xiaomi is no longer the coolest company in my mind,” says the blog (our translation), which also referred to company’s top management such as founder Lei Jun and company president Lin Bin. The post was removed shortly on the same day.

“We found that the microblog is posted by the employee who operates our Weibo account to vent personal resentment. But the reason behind this incident is still under investigation,” the company told local media.

Under increasing competition from local rivals such as Oppo and Vivo, Xiaomi, which first boomed for its online-only sales model, was forced to set up brick-and-mortar stores to keep up with a changing market, which puts a priority on offline experiences.

At Xiaomi’s annual meeting held in February this year, Lei Jun says the company plans to set up 700 Mi Stores by the end of this year and the company is already halfway to the goal with 500 stores as of present.

Despite the impressive numbers, Xiaomi’s sprawling offline expansion has been shadowed by some organizational problems, which results in internal strains.

Actually, this is not the first time for Xiaomi to face negative coverage for its Mi Store operations. The owner of a Xiaomi franchise store, who was a hardcore fan of Xiaomi, sued the company for not fulfilling the promise of inviting him to a dinner with Lei Jun after he met the sales target.

To some extent, organizational problems aren’t specific to the company’s offline unit. In a previous statement, the smartphone maker announced plans to place younger executives in leadership positions, a step which may help to remove organizational obstacles.