Describing the agreement as a long-term strategic partnership, the Chinese company said DGW would distribute, market, and provide after-sales support for its offerings in Vietnam, including smartphones and its Mi Ecosystem products.
These will be available for sale at retailers throughout Vietnam as well as online through e-commerce operator Lazada.
With phones of different segments, Xiaomi will compete with Samsung and Apple for market share in Vietnam’s fast-growing market of young tech-savvy users.
It targets selling up to 40 million units in Vietnam this year and its smart wearable products and electric bicycles will arrive in the country at a later date.
Vietnam is the next target of Xiaomi, following India, Russia, Indonesia, Pakistan and the UAE. The Chinese company is in no rush to expand internationally but will explore overseas markets gradually, starting with neighboring countries, Xiaomi’s founder and CEO Mr. Lei Jun said last week.
Despite being a profitable market for mobile phones, home-grown producers such as Q-Mobile, BKAV, Viettel, FPT, and VNPT have given up the game in Vietnam, leaving the playing field to foreign rivals such as Asus, Oppo, Huawei, Lenovo, Samsung, Nokia, HTC, and Apple.
DGW is currently the authorized distributor of more than 30 brands in Vietnam, according to a joint statement released on March 16. Xiaomi added that its Redmi Note 4, Redmi 4A, Mi MIX as well as its brand of power banks will be among the range of products available in the country.
Xiaomi’s Redmi 4A will sell for VND2.9 million (US$128), the Redmi Note 4 VND4.69 million (US$206), and the Mi MIX VND16.9 million (US$742).
In a note to employees earlier this year, Mr. Jun said the company was targeting to reach 100 billion yuan (US$14.46 billion) in revenue and plans to do so by focusing on five areas, including internet finance and artificial intelligence.
At 41.5 million units and a market share of 8.9%, Xiaomi rounded up the Top 5 smartphone vendors in the Chinese market last year.
The figures, however, were lower than in 2015, when it sold 64.9 million units and had a market share of 15.1%.
Xiaomi led its domestic market in 2015 but saw then the biggest fall in year-on-year growth, according to local market research company IDC.
With 48.5 million of its population of 92 million using the internet, Vietnam is becoming one of the most significant countries in Southeast Asia with a rapidly growing tech sector.
Mobile access to the internet is changing the habits of online users in the country, especially in the 15-40 age group.
With Xiaomi’s arrival, the competition in Vietnam’s mobile phone market is set to become fiercer. Samsung and Apple now dominate the market.