Xiaomi, best known for its smartphones, is making serious inroads into Russia as it launched a collection of products in the country where some 145 million people live. That includes its smart TVs featuring 700,000 hours of content, smart wristbands, wireless earbuds, and flagship phone Mi 9T, which is identical to its recently announced Redmi K20 for China under a different identifier.
Customers can find these products online on Xiaomi’s website and offline at its 31 authorized retail stores across the country. The hardware giant aims to open 100 new Mi Stores in Russia this year, a company spokesperson told TechCrunch. Russian news outlet Kommersant reported the plan last week.
Xiaomi began shipping to Russia back in 2017 by introducing three handset models and its offering has since broadened. Russia marks the third international country following India and Indonesia — its biggest markets outside China — where it has rolled out smart TVs, a new area of growth for the Hong Kong-listed company.
The three Mi TV models will be available from June 25th with prices ranging from 11,990 rubles ($186.56) to 33,990 rubles ($528.88).
The TV push comes as Xiaomi copes with a global slowdown in smartphone shipment. TVs, like phones, can be an important channel for Xiaomi — which has long billed its software as a differentiator from conventional hardware companies — to sell app services and ads. It came as no surprise that Xiaomi recently bought a small stake in TCL, the world’s third-largest LCD TV maker, to ramp up its production capability in building next-gen connected TVs.
The expansion in Russia also reflects Xiaomi’s ambition to grow its overseas markets, which in the first quarter made up 38% of its overall revenue. Huawei, its main domestic rival, is tipped to see a 40% decline in international smartphone sales as U.S. export bans deal a blow to its business.
The three TV models it rolled out in the country “are a symbol of our sincere devotion to Russian consumers,” said Janet Zeng, vice president of international development at Xiaomi Mi TV. “I’m sure you all see how much we worked to combine our technical development and localized content. By [doing] this we emphasize our devotion to the Russian market and its priority for us.”