Smartphone maker Xiaomi has opened its first Nairobi store, effectively stepping up competition in the local market dominated by Chinese rivals including Transsion Holdings, the manufacturer of the popular Tecno, Infinix and Itel brands.
Xiaomi is ranked the fourth largest smartphone company in the world after Korea’s Samsung, United States’s Apple and China’s Huawei, according to the latest International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker.
Xiomi has picked The Hub shopping mall, located in Nairobi’s upmarket Karen suburb, for its maiden Kenyan outlet.
The firm said the physical store will complement its online presence and boost its sales locally. Previously Xiaomi mainly used vendors including Jumia and Avechi.com to ship its brands into Kenya besides a host of local outlets.
The Business Daily has also learnt that the firm is eyeing more physical outlets within Nairobi.
Earlier this year, Xiaomi set up an Africa department that focused on markets including Kenya, following growth in its home-grown Chinese market.
Analysts said at the time the department showed the company is keen to implement a low-cost strategy by eliminating brokers to increase earnings as it rolls out its expansion strategy in the continent.