What happened: Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi’s expansion to the UK market hit a roadblock as its first promotional activity got really messed up. To celebrate its entry to the new market, the company launched a flash sale where its flagship models were offered for £1. Thousands of potential buyers were disappointed when the website told them it has “sold out” soon after it has opened. Enraged users called Xiaomi for an explanation on social media. Things got worse when one user find Xiaomi had programmed its website to “sold out” in its website code as soon as the flash sale kicked off. The company Tweeted out an apology via its official apology for the misleading terms.
Why it’s important: The European market is an important part of the globalization plan of Xiaomi, which is trying to expand beyond the market in China and Southeast Asia, where it has built a solid presence. Xiaomi has been expanding in Europe for quite some time now, the company had announced a number of retail stores in Europe this year, including stores in Italy and France, amongst other. The company may need extra efforts to remove the negative first impression in UK consumers.