Even though Xiaomi’s been doing quite well in mainland China and Taiwan, you still won’t be able to find its products in brick-and-mortar stores, except for those of partner carriers and scalpers. This is why we got a bit giddy when we heard the company is now in the process of setting up 18 stores across China. But there’s a catch: you won’t be able to buy any Xiaomi Phones or Xiaomi TVs in them. Instead, you’ll only find accessories there, including the Xiaomi Box, phone cases, batteries, cables, RC toys, clothes and even dolls of the Xiaomi bunny mascot.
By the end of this year, Xiaomi will have finished upgrading its 18 “Xiaomi Home” service centers to flagship shops, with the latest one being the branch in Zhuhai (pictured above), where local rival Meizu is based. While these sites will only sell accessories, they will also do one-hour express repair on non-artificially damaged devices, as well as offering a pick-up service for online orders. Of course, the network of 450 authorized service centers across the country are unaffected.
Xiaomi VP Li Wanqiang told CBN that this year his company is expecting a revenue of over CN¥100 million (about US$16.4 million) from selling accessories alone, beating last year’s CN¥60 million (about US$9.8 million). Yes, that’s a lot of money, but Xiaomi should snap up those fake Apple stores as well and watch more yuan flow right in.