Asia: Make sales, not war

India still loves Xiaomi’s smartphone despite border clashes with China, writes Sophie Zinser

The World Today Updated 4 December 2020 Published 1 December 2020 2 minute READ

Sophie Zinser

Former Academy Associate, Middle East North Africa Programme and Asia-Pacific Programme

In early November 2020, the Chinese company Xiaomi overtook Apple as the world’s third biggest smartphone company, following closely behind Samsung and Huawei. While the late launch of the iPhone 12 partially explains Apple’s drop in the rankings, the real secret to Xiaomi’s success lies in the market where it is a leading smartphone retailer – India.

Despite turbulent relations between China and India over the past year – including a public campaign to boycott Chinese products – Xiaomi is still among its top smartphone manufacturers. No less than 99 per cent of Xiaomi phones made for the Indian market are produced in local factories and are churned out at the rate of three phones per second. The manufacturing takes place at two Xiaomi facilities, one at the Sri City special economic zone in Andhra Pradesh and the other at Sriperumbudur in Tamil Nadu.

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