Xiaomi steps up Thai investment
Despite the economic stalemate, Chinese tech giant Xiaomi has vowed to double its investment in marketing and sharpen its focus on 5G-enabled smartphones to become a top three vendor in Thailand.
"Thailand is a very important market in Southeast Asia. The country has energetic consumers, such as youngsters, the rise of 5G-enabled smartphone adoption and the growth of e-commerce," said K.M. Leong, general manager for Southeast Asia of Xiaomi International.
The overall economic situation will get better and smartphone innovation with 5G and attractive prices could accelerate consumer replacement, he said.
Xiaomi plans to double its marketing investment in Thailand this year, said Mr Leong.
By this year, the firm plans to expand its Mi Stores from 30 to 100, retail partners from 4,000 to 8,000 and after-sales service centres from 12 to 25.
Xiaomi expects to have a call centre service in the Thai language by March, pick-up points by April and a door-to-door service by May, he said.
In the third quarter of last year, Xiaomi attained a 11% market share or the fourth in the Thai market, according to research firm Canalys.
"We aim to become one of the top three in the market as soon as possible," said Mr Leong.
Despite the challenging situation of the pandemic, Xiaomi's sales grew three times in Thailand as it provides innovative products at affordable prices and leverages e-commerce channels that can offset the closure of shops during the lockdown.
"We will bring more 5G-enabled smartphones to the market, particularly premium models, at competitive prices, as well as roll out new Internet of Things products -- at least one a month -- on top of the 200 IoT items that have been launched," Mr Leong.
To continue its 5G-enabled high-end smartphones, the company has introduced the Mi11 smartphone powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 -- the most powerful smartphone chipset from Qualcomm to date.
The handset also comes with a triple camera set-up offering peak resolution at 108MP, studio-level audio recording system and 50W of wireless charging.