According to the Wall Street Journal, one of the planet’s largest smartphone makers, Xiaomi, plans a grand entry into the U.S. market by the end of the year or early 2019. The Chinese company is already in the midst of a rapid expansion in Europe, and the United States could be next.
We’ve always been considering entering the US market,
the company’s chair Lei Jun told The Journal.
The Xiaomi smartphone would not be the only electronic device to make it to the U.S. market. The Chinese manufacturer is already selling its Android TV box sets called Mi TV via Walmart and battery packs, headphones, and 360-degree cameras via Amazon.com.
However, Xiaomi smartphone’s fate will largely depend on the deals the Chinese phone maker will be able to ink with U.S. carriers. Xiaomi’s Chinese rival ZTE has managed to close healthy deals with the carriers and now has a good market share.
Xiaomi Could Share Huawei’s Fate
In addition, Xiaomi will have to address U.S. regulators’ concerns about the company’s ties to the Chinese government. Multiple spy agencies warned the U.S. Congress that Huawei and ZTE smartphones could be used by China to spy on U.S. citizens.
In 2014, U.S. regulators barred Huawei’s access to government contracts, which has impacted its U.S. sales ever since. Earlier this year, the company tried to launch the Mate 10 Pro phone via AT&T in the U.S., but the U.S. carrier eventually yielded to government pressure and canceled the deal.
Huawei’s boss Richard Yu was so enraged with the decision that he openly criticized the U.S. carriers at this year’s CES. Xiaomi could share the same fate unless it opts for a slower approach when it comes to the U.S.
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