International

Chinese Smartphone Maker Opening US E-Commerce Site

Emerging Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi has announced it will be opening its online store, Mi.com, in the United States, according to Bloomberg.

The one catch? No smartphones will be sold.

The store will be opening in the U.S., as well as a few other markets in the next few months, though the company did not specify which countries it will be operating in outside of America. While no smartphones will be sold in the U.S., it will be selling other products like health bands, power chargers, and headphones.

“[Xiaomi] can bring these products to market much faster because they are simpler to take to market,” Hugo Barra, Xiaomi’s vice president of international, said at a news conference on Feb. 12. “We intend to launch it here in the U.S. and perhaps a few other markets and see how it goes. Hopefully it will be the beginning of really having America experience the Xiaomi brand and quality and craftsmanship of our products.”

According to Bloomberg, Xiaomi is known as the leading smartphone seller in China at the moment, leading both Apple and Samsung in that market. The company sold 61 million handsets last year, including 17.1 million shipments in Q4 2014, a 227.3 percent increase through 2014 according to ABI Research. After a fundraising round last year, the company is valued at over $45 billion, boasting more than 100 million online users worldwide. Despite these strong numbers though, the company has said that it has no plans to state an initial public offering “in the foreseeable future.” Xiaomi had flirted with a potential investment from Facebook during its $1.1 billion fundraising round in July, but a deal didn’t materialize.

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