HomeInterviewXiaomi Thailand’s new chief outlines strategies for smartphone market

Xiaomi Thailand’s new chief outlines strategies for smartphone market

Xiaomi’s new country manager says its key strategies for Thailand this year involve enriching the product portfolio, enhancing the consumer experience, and penetrating the high-end smartphone market.

Alex Tang, managing director of Xiaomi Thailand, said that Xiaomi has gained a strong user base globally, as well as in Thailand.

“We are ranked number 3 [in the global smartphone market] in terms of smartphone shipments. And our global market share is about 13.6%,” he said, quoting a Canalys report based on the data from the third quarter of 2022.

Canalys is a marketing, analytics, and research company that serves companies engaged in the field of electronics and technology.

The research firm’s latest report released in January shows that in 2022 Samsung defended its first-place position, claiming a 22% market share with 257.9 million shipments. Apple came second with shipments of 232.2 million and a 19% market share. Xiaomi came third with 152.7 million shipments and a 13% market share.

Major smartphone maker

The majority of Xiaomi products are smartphones – accounting for 85% of its global output, compared to 15% for other products.

In the Thai market, most Xiaomi smartphones sold are those in the mid- and low-end ranges. “But we continue to enjoy a very good growth in the high-end smartphone market. Our premium phone volume [sold in Thailand] has increased more than 15% from 2021,” Tang said.

“We are well recognized here. We also have very strong products as well,” the country manager added. “What we have done successfully is definitely that we have been well recognized in the Thai market, according to the Canalys report.”

Xiaomi’s big advantage

Tang attributed Xiaomi’s strong user base in Thailand to te fact that its smartphone products cover all the price ranges from the entry level to high end.

“We have provided the product portfolio across all price ranges. With the full coverage of all the price ranges, we are able to respond to the customers’ needs on different fronts,” he said.

The executive also points to Xiaomi’s big advantage as a smartphone maker that also produces a large variety of products, which can link together and offer its consumers “the smart living experience”.

The new country manager, whose Chinese name is Tang Lee, just assumed his office at Xiaomi Thailand in December last year. Previously, he was the senior director of operations in charge of international business at Xiaomi Corporation headquarters in Beijing.

Founded in April 2010, the Chinese firm manufactures smartphones, consumer electronics, home appliances, and healthcare products.

Mutual respect is key principle

Tang says mutual respect is his key principle in dealing with people and doing business.

“To earn trust from others, you need to show them respect and humanity. That’s my principle in dealing with other persons and with the business partners,” he said.

For him, mutual respect with its business partners is “very important” for Xiaomi to grow sustainably. He applied this rule when carrying out the localization strategies for some 20 countries, including Thailand.

“The most important thing is to understand the local business practices and insights and to develop a really localized strategy to work in the Thailand market to better serve our Thai consumers,” he said.

Thailand is ‘very important market’

According to Tang, Thailand is a “very important market” for Xiaomi. Like in the global market, the Chinese smartphone maker also is ranked third in terms of shipment volume in the Thai market. “Thailand is a very important market because we have very good growth potential,” he said.

Xiaomi’s market share for premium smartphones in Thailand grew by 15% in 2022, indicating the country’s “very good potential” for high-end smartphones, he said.

In order to boost the consumer experience and satisfaction, which Tang said is essential to Xiaomi’s business success, the smartphone maker will continue to expand its brand store network and open up new service centres. In January, two new exclusive service centres solely for the Xiaomi brand started opening their door to customers in Nonthaburi and Chiang Mai.

To penetrate the premium smartphone market, Xiaomi focuses on offering products with cutting-edge technology and innovation, along with “perfect consumer experience”, which Tang said is “very critical” to the brand’s success.

Collaborating with Leica

Since last year, Xiaomi began its long-term global strategic cooperation with Leica, a famous German manufacturer of cameras and lenses, to co-engineer and design new smartphones together, according to Tang.

“Leica has a long history of more than 100 years in cameras. Its camera is famous for being lightweight and very aesthetic and pretty lenses. It’s also very popular among photographers,” he said.

Regarding the development of local talents, Tang said that Xiaomi is committed to recruiting local talents for its office. Also, it will continue to carry out activities with the Mi Fan community in order to “identify the talents and find ways to work with them”, he said.

Sustainability is another area that Xiaomi takes “very seriously”, according to Tang. “It’s a common goal for the humans in the world. We believe that’s very important.” He also said that in Thailand, Xiaomi has carried out a number of corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities in 2022, which will continue in 2023.

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