Xiaomi has quickly become one of the biggest smartphone names in the world, despite only shipping devices throughout China and parts of South East Asia. The key to such success of course has been to capture one of the most important markets for smartphones and consumer electronics as a whole. With many, many people in China enjoying more disposable income, and the ability to produce devices so cheaply, it’s no wonder Xiaomi has become so successful. Ironically, a Chinese company like Xiaomi is no stranger to counterfeiters, and Lei Jun (Xiaomi’s founder) has spoken out about the trouble with counterfeit devices harming their bottom line, particularly accessories like their Power Banks.
Speaking to press at the company’s Beijing headquarters he said that one of the biggest problems was that “there are many fakes”. He went on to say that “If there were no counterfeits, our sales would be double or triple. The product has been recognized by everyone.” The power banks in particular are fairly easy to counterfeit as there’s not much to them, making it easy for manufacturers to piggy back on the Xiaomi name and brand without spending too much on producing the units. According Jun, roughly $115 Million in revenue is lost due to counterfeit hardware making its way into the market. Xiaomi already offers users a way to check if their smartphone or device is in fact genuine, and it looks like the company will have to come up with more ways to prevent fakes like these spreading further.
Xiaomi has come under fire for backing small startups that ultimately become responsible for smaller products of Xiaomi’s, such as the power banks in question however, Jun is adamant the company retains its focus. He says that “Xiaomi has three products and these three products are the mobile phone, TV and router. These three types of products are our main business. We will be focused on these three products for a very long time.” Xiaomi currently offers a number of different smartphones such as the Mi Note, the RedMi and a whole host of other devices, so it is understandable that people question the company’s direction. In the future, it will be interesting to see how Xiaomi tackles counterfeits and maintains their brand presence in Asia.