Xiaomi Challenges Korean 5G Phone Makers

  • By Sung Ho-chul

    July 17, 2020 11:12

    Xiaomi rolled out a new 5G smartphone in Korea on Friday. The Mi 10 Lite 5G costs just half of rival products by Samsung and LG, which is expected to appeal to price-conscious consumers here.

    In a video conference with Korean reporters on Thursday, Steven Wang at Xiaomi said the phone boasts "the same hardware and software specs as LG's latest Velvet smartphone, but costs 50 percent less."

    The Mi 10 Lite 5G comes with the price tag of W451,000, compared to the Velvet's W899,800 (US$1=W1,205).

    Wang added that it "will be attractive to Korean consumers who have high expectations of a gadget but are looking for value."

    Xiaomi is selling the phone through online shopping malls here including 11Street, Naver Smartstore and Coupang, as well as SK Telecom's online channel. It will not be available at offline stores.

    But LG does not seem to feel threatened and said it will be "difficult" for a Chinese smartphone to catch on in Korea due to a lack of after-sales service.

    Xiaomi has just 32 after-service shops in Korea in a tie-up with SK Networks.

    Another factor is the fear of possible leaks of personal information when using Chinese-made smartphones.

    One executive at a Korean smartphone maker said, "Xiaomi knows it can't rattle LG in one blow and has probably planned a long-term strategy." 

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