Xiaomi has put a placeholder on its new website in India, as the Chinese smartphone darling preps its entry into one of the world's largest mobile markets.
Vice president Hugo Barra, hired to lead Xiaomi's global expansion, posted on his Google+ profile last week that the company's "journey into India" had begun with its new India website at www.mi.com/in. The site, however, bears only an image of India's Taj Mahal and does not contain any product details. Instead, it features profile photos of Facebook users who give their permission to do so.
The vice president said in a March interview with CNET that the company was looking to launch soon in the Indian market, where it will set up a new office and establish partnerships with telcos, as well as an online site from which it will peddle its handsets directly to consumers. This business model would allow Xiaomi to continue selling its products at significantly low prices and close to cost, Barra said, adding that the company's goal is to produce "aggressively priced phones focused on performance and quality".
Earlier in February, the Chinese company kicked off its global expansion plans in Singapore, marking its first foray into markets outside of Greater China. Xiaomi sold 18.7 million handsets last year, up 160 percent from the year before, and said it was targeting to more than double this number to 40 million in 2014.