Xiaomi disappoints customers in Brazil launch

Low availability of products and website problems marred the start of the company's operations in the country

Xiaomi let customers down in Brazil as it couldn't meet the online demand for the smartphone Redmi2 in a launch "sales event" held earlier this week.

Purchasing of the device was only available to customers who had registered on the Xiaomi website a week before. The company launched its transactional website on Tuesday (7) but the smartphones sold out within a couple of hours.

To kick off its operations in Brazil, Xiaomi has chosen to only sell the Redmi2 model, which retails at R$500 ($156) and can be paid for in ten installments of R$54,90 ($17,20). The first batch of smartphones was imported but Foxconn will be manufacturing the devices locally.

Customers also complained on social networks about having difficulty to access the website and not receiving order confirmations.

The local provider for the platform also supplies the e-commerce infrastructure to major Brazilian retailers such as Americanas.com and Submarino, B2W Digital, is looking into what has caused the issues.

Xiaomi will be holding its sales events online on a weekly basis and Brazilian users can already register for the next opportunity to buy the Redmi2 on the company's website.

The massive demand for Xiaomi's phone follows recent research by IDC that predicts a slowdown in smartphone sales in Brazil, caused by factors including an increase in prices to final consumers. However, the Chinese manufacturer is confident that it will thrive even in these conditions as it keeps prices low by selling online directly to consumers.