Xiaomi India will start making wireless audio products in the country via a partnership with electronics manufacturer Optiemus in a push to further localise its operations, as per Xiaomi said.
Xiaomi India will make its first local audio gadget at Optiemus Electronics’ factory in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, Xiaomi said in a statement, reiterating that it was targeting a 50% increase in the production of components locally source by 2025.
The push comes as the manufacturer of the Redmi brand of smartphones recently lost out to South Korean rival Samsung as India’s top smartphones company.
The Xiaomi did not say what kind of audio product it will make in the Indian factory, but it is “committed to forging more such collaborations for a wider range of categories, across our product line-up.”
Xiaomi, which locally manufactures most of the smartphones and TVs it sells in India, did not say when it will start making the audio products.
It sells speakers, ear-buds, wired and wireless headphones in India.
Indian government has been pushing global companies to invest in local manufacturing as a part of its vision to make the country self-reliant.
Also, Xiaomi reported an 18.9% drop in quarterly revenue as consumer demand for smartphones remain weak even as the economy recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
After China lift its stringent pandemic controls late 2022, the country’s economy has recover but consumers are spending cautiously.
China’s smartphone sector saw no bounce back over the period at all.
Total sales in China fell 11% in the first quarter of 2023, research firm Canalys report in April.
Xiaomi’s sales over the period fell 20%
India has also prove less lucrative for the smartphone maker.
Total smartphone shipments fell 20% across all brands in the first quarter, and rivals such as Samsung have eaten away at Xiaomi’s share of the shrinking market.
Xiaomi has cut prices on many of its models in India and China in the hope of spurring demand.
In March, Xiaomi was report to be overhauling its India strategy after misjudging consumer tastes in mobile phones, a costly lapse that allow Samsung Electronics to pip the Chinese company to the top spot in the world’s second biggest market for the devices.
While Xiaomi remain focus on selling mobile phones under Rs. 10,000, Indian consumers were willing to pay up for better looking models with richer features.
South Korea’s Samsung launch products to meet those aspirations and offered innovative financing schemes that made them affordable to most.
Those moves have help Samsung wrest leadership of India’s competitive mobile phones market from Xiaomi, with data from Hong Kong-based Counterpoint Research showing it had a 20% market share for the last quarter of 2022 compare to the Chinese company’s 18%.