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Innovation

Xiaomi returns to Brazil

The company is relaunching in the country three years after folding its local operations.
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Written by Angelica Mari, Contributing Writer on

Chinese smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi is relaunching its offering in Brazil, three years after leaving the market due to factors including economic instability.

Through a partnership with local distributor DL Eletrônicos, the firm will be selling products including five mobile devices through local retailers, online and at its own store, to be launched at a shopping mall in São Paulo on June 1st.

After building a great deal of consumer expectation, Xiaomi's first launched in Brazil in 2015 with a single imported device that was available to consumers who signed up for sales events online.

Low availability of products and website problems marred the start of the Chinese company's operations in Brazil, which were led at the time by Brazilian executive Hugo Barra, now vice president of Facebook's virtual reality division. Devices then started to be produced locally through a deal with Foxconn.

Less than a year later, the company started to lose steam and its Brazil operations were significantly downsized . At the time, Barra cited obstacles including constant changes in manufacturing and taxation that made it impossible for the company to carry on selling locally.

The news of Xiaomi's return to the Brazilian market follow the comeback of Huawei , another Chinese manufacturer who had  given up on the country following a previous attempt, also in 2015.

According to data from IDC, smartphone sales volumes in Brazil will remain low in 2019 however consumers will be spending more : the analyst predicts that smartphones priced over 10,000 reais ($2,475) should reach the shelves of Brazilian retailers this year.

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