Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi has opened 500 Mi Stores in rural parts of the country and plans to set up 5000 more stores by the end of 2019, according to the company’s press release from earlier this week. The latest retail expansion efforts are part of the company’s push toward offline sales.

The offline segment accounts for nearly 60% of the Indian smartphone market and the rural markets Xiaomi is targeting accounts for 30%, Manu Jain, vice president and managing director of Xiaomi India was cited as saying by local media Business Today. The company sees great untapped potential as the market is “grossly underpenetrated,” said Jain.

Xiaomi has been offering its products through offline retail channels for more than a year and has started moving beyond tier four and five cities in India since earlier this year. The new Mi Stores will serve as Xiaomi’s primary retail locations in rural parts of the country. The Mi Stores on average are no more than 300 square feet, significantly smaller comparing to Mi Home’s retail space which, on average, is four-times larger.

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Nicole Jao

Nicole Jao is a reporter based in Beijing. She’s passionate about emerging trends, news, and stories of human interest within the world of technology. Connect with her on Twitter or via email: nicole.jao.iting@gmail.com.