Xiaomi holds back hot products

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Xiaomi holds back hot products

Xiaomi is releasing more products on the Korean market after inking deals with two local distributors in early March, but some of the most-anticipated items like smartphones and televisions won’t be among them.

The Chinese tech company introduced several of its new items, including the curved MiTV3S television, through Koma Trade, one of its two authorized distributors, at Seoul Marina Club & Yacht in Yeongdeungpo District, southwestern Seoul, on Thursday.

The 65-inch curved television with 4K resolution through an ultra-high-definition display panel “is only half the price of competing products of similar quality manufactured by local companies” according to Lee Joon-sok, CEO of Koma Trade. The smart TV was released at only 8,999 yuan ($1,392) in China last Wednesday.

Xiaomi and Koma Trade also showcased Mi Water, a water purifier with a four-layer filtration system; Mi Air, an air purifier; and Ninebot Mini, a Segway-like transport device.

“Many customers have a strong perception that Xiaomi is a portable battery maker, and we wanted to show them that Xiaomi is instead a platform encompassing a wide range of products and software,” CEO Lee said during his presentation.

However, of the wide range of showcased products, those most coveted by Korean consumers - namely smartphones and the TV - are off-limits for the time being, and neither Xiaomi nor Koma Trade has confirmed if they’ll be available at all.

Xiaomi currently has products that are developed from diverse partner companies but distributed under the Xiaomi label through the company’s Eco department, and a separate group of products that are directly developed at its headquarters. The latter category includes smartphones, the TV, wireless routers and its third-generation Bluetooth speaker.

According to Lee, the two distributors in Korea have business licenses to sell Eco products, but they need to work out separate deals for Xiaomi’s own products.

Lee claimed that the company was working to bring these products into the Korean market as soon as possible, but according to Brian Ye, a spokesman for Xiaomi’s international business strategy department, the headquarters “has no plans to bring in smartphones or the TV to Korea yet.”

BY KIM JEE-HEE [kim.jeehee@joongang.co.kr]

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