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Xiaomi Says India Will Be A Major Market In 2016

The Chinese smartphone maker wants to be among the top three vendors of the devices "as soon as possible."

[Photo: Flickr user Vernon Chan]

Xiaomi, the Chinese smartphone maker that burst onto the scene in 2014 and captured a lot of the market in its home country thanks to the cheap prices and Apple-inspired designs of its handsets, has seen its sales falter as of late. After its debut, a slew of new budget handset makers entered the market in an attempt to imitate the company’s success, which slowed Xiaomi’s sales growth in 2015 considerably. But that competition hasn’t dampened the company’s growth plans.

Speaking at the annual meeting of China’s parliament, the National People’s Congress, where he is a delegate, Xiaomi chairman and chief executive Lei Jun revealed that India is his company’s next major target, reports the Wall Street Journal.

"Our focus has been sharpened on the Indian market," Lei said. "We are currently in about sixth or seventh place there, so there’s an improvement, but I hope to move into the top three as soon as possible."

Lei’s comments come at a time when other major handset makers are redoubling their efforts in the country, including Apple. In 2015, the country officially passed the U.S. as the second largest smartphone market in the world. It had 220 million smartphones users at the end of the year.

Besides the news of Xiaomi’s planned expansion in India, Lei also revealed that the company still did not have plans for an immediate IPO. He also declined to discuss smartphone sales after the figures he announced a year ago failed to be reached in 2015.

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