Xiaomi, unlikely to open business in South Korea in the near future

- Adrian Ungureanu

Xiaomi is doing great in China and in India, yet it still is hesitant when it comes to tackling the South Korean market, as it is largely dominated by Samsung and Apple.

China’s leading smartphone maker Xiaomi is still gauging the timing of its official launch in Korea, calling the marketability of its budget phones on the home turf of bigger rivals Samsung and LG, not the diplomatic tensions over THAAD deployment, as the key consideration for its entry.

“I don’t think Xiaomi is likely to set up its local office in Korea soon,” Jung Seung-hee, G-mobi Korea, the exclusive Korean distributor of Xiaomi’s smartphones, told The Investor in a recent interview.

“For now, our top priority is building a positive brand image through our products here.”

The Chinese tech giant sells smartphones and home appliances through two different Korean retailers. While its low-priced but good-looking appliances are appealing to young consumers here, the smartphones have yet to secure a footing in the tricky market that is largely dominated by Samsung and Apple.