Chinese firm Xiaomi brings its smartphones to Pakistan

Chinese gadget manufacturer Xiaomi announced today it’s launching in Pakistan – the world’s sixth-most populous country – after months of speculation and official denials.

Xiaomi has expanded slowly since its 2011 debut in China, focusing mainly on Southeast Asia, India, parts of the Middle East, and Brazil. It’s Pakistan entry is the largest since it ventured into Brazil mid-2015.

Xiaomi’s coming to Pakistan through a distribution partnership – as it did in Brazil – with Rocket Internet’s e-commerce marketplace, Daraz, which is present in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, and Sri Lanka.

Jack Yung, Xiaomi’s sales director for South Asia, said three models will be available initially – the Mi Max, plus the budget Redmi Note 4 and Redmi 4A. There are also plans to sell the Mi Band 2, but the company is tight-lipped whether the full range of Xiaomi’s products will eventually reach the country.

Pakistan saw 13 million smartphone shipments in 2016, according to IDC, as the overall mobile market gradually tilts towards smartphones. The ratio of the flip phone to smartphone shipments is now at 60:40.

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