by Javier Ureta
MADRID, JAN 22 — Reliable, versatile, groundbreaking devices with high-end speculations at very affordable prices. This is the strategy with which Chinese mobile phones have been popular in the Spanish market.
“Ever since I bought my first Xiaomi, I’ve never had the urge of trying out any other brand. It just delivers everything I need and I like its reliability,” said Eduardo Peña, a Xiaomi user.
Ou Wen is the Western Europe director for China’s Xiaomi Corporation. In an exclusive interview with Xinhua, he said: “We are very popular in Spain because our customers realize that our products are innovative at honest prices. Having good products, good quality and affordable prices make us popular not only in Spain, but worldwide.”
Latest figures made public by the Chinese electronics company showed that its exports to Western Europe grew 386 percent year on year in the third quarter of 2018.
“It is all about building a positive environment with our potential costumers,” said Ou Wen at Xiaomi’s Madrid office.
Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd., a leading global provider of smart devices and information and communications technology infrastructure, is making even bigger stride in Europe. In 2018, the company’s annual smartphone orders exceeded the mark of 200 million, setting a new record by reaching a global market share of 14.6 percent.
“My phone works just perfectly. It has good specifications, a good camera and a long battery life. All of that at a price I could afford,” said Paula Perez, a Huawei user in Spain.
Fernando Tello, a Spanish lawyer, spoke highly of “the main virtue” of his Huawei phone.
“Battery life is what I’m after. Due to my line of work I spend long hours speaking over the phone. And two years in, it is still running perfectly,” he explained. A study by Canalys, a leading global technology market analysis firm, published in 2018 found that Xiaomi’s market share in Spain was around 15 percent, whereas Huawei took up over 20 percent.
Both Huawei and Xiaomi are planning to increase their sales in Spain, an attractive and strategic market for them to further boost sales in Europe.
“We want to bring more innovation and more technology to our users, so that everybody can enjoy it. We want to be useful to Spaniards,” said Ou Wen.
In Spain, thousands of users have chosen Chinese brands thanks to their performances.
“I’ve had mine for over two years and it runs so smoothly some people can’t tell its an older device. I love its camera. Sometimes I feel like I am using a pro one. Although I was a bit hesitant at first due to not knowing these brands well. They have definitely won me over with their reliability/cost ratio,” said Daniel González, a Huawei user.
Sources from Xiaomi noted that the main foundation of its strategy in such a competitive market is its price policy, the key to its success.
“We always try to reach competitive figures. Taking into account what other similar companies are doing, we try to offer the best specifications at the best prices,” said Ou Wen.
But Xiaomi’s success is not limited to smartphone sales, as it is also trying to win over Spanish households with a wide array of products ranging from electric scooters to wearables such as the “MiBand3”, a fitness wristband that tracks metrics for calorie consumption, heartbeat or distance walked.
“It is the best selling tracker in its market segment,” Ou Wen said with pride.
It is no wonder that Xiaomi is now boasting 20 official stores in Spain, not to mention the 35 stores selling some of its products.
“Our stores are one of the cornerstones of our strategy. We currently have 20 stores, but more are coming, not just for sales, but also to improve our efficiency. We want our costumers to have the opportunity to touch and feel our products,” noted Ou Wen.
Huawei has announced to open in mid 2019 two flagship stores in Madrid’s Gran Via and Barcelona’s Plaza Cataluña, two of the most marketable locations in Spain.
Nonetheless, Huawei’s presence in Spain is not limited to phones as it is a leading force in the setting up of 5G networks in the country.
“As leaders in development and innovation of 5G technology, we are playing our part in this race, in a collaborative effort with telecom carriers by contributing actively to the government’s 5G plans and shaping talents so that it can soon become a reality,” said Huawei CEO in Spain Tony Jin Yong.
The company is also engaged in cybersecurity and plays an active part in a course sponsored by the Spanish National Institute of Cybersecurity (INCIBE). Huawei is also establishing the first 5G university studies in a joint effort with the Universidad Politecnica de Madrid.
Xiaomi and Huawei, joined by other Chinese electronics companies such as Oppo, are trying to explore new markets in Europe with ever-improving technologies and user-friendly innovations. – XINHUA