Sat, Mar 23, 2013 - Page 14 News List

Xiaomi may become big Foxconn client: sources

‘CHINESE APPLE’:Xiaomi has managed to evoke Apple Inc-like adoration by mimicking the US firm’s strategy of attaching an aura of exclusivity around its devices

Staff writer, with CNA

Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi Technology (小米科技), which has often been referred to as China’s Apple Inc, might emerge as one of Foxconn International Holdings’ (富士康控股) top five clients this year, industry sources said yesterday.

The forecast was made amid Chinese media reports that Terry Gou (郭台銘), chairman of Taiwan’s Hon Hai Group (鴻海集團), which owns China-based Foxconn — the world’s largest electronics manufacturing service provider — met with Xiaomi founder and chairman Lei Jun (雷軍) in Beijing on Thursday.

The reports said that the meeting focused on the prospects of Xiaomi’s smartphone business.

As in the past, Hon Hai declined to comment on the reports.

A mobile phone industry source familiar with the group’s development plans said Foxconn would expand its cooperation with Xiaomi.

The source said Foxconn, which assembles Apple’s iconic iPhones and iPads, began providing manufacturing services for Xiaomi in the second half of last year.

With its rapidly growing customer base, the source said, Xiaomi could very likely become one of Foxconn’s top five clients this year.

Founded in 2010, Xiaomi has managed to evoke Apple-like adoration for its moderately priced high-end smartphones by mimicking the US firm’s marketing strategy of maintaining an aura of exclusivity around its devices.

Local smartphone industry sources said that in the face of changing global mobile phone market trends, Foxconn has been gradually adjusting its business strategy since the third quarter of last year.

The list of Foxconn’s top five customers might therefore change significantly this year, the sources said, adding that Japanese smartphone brands might also emerge among Foxconn’s top clients.

With China’s smartphone makers actively building their own brands and making forays into the consumer electronics market, the sources said, Foxconn would continue to offer them components and parts, and provide manufacturing and assembling services.

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