Xiaomi's Hugo Barra recently made his exit to head back home to the United States and work with Facebook, and his replacement Wang Xiang seems eager to throw the company into new markets in the near future, ideally by 2019. Xiang sat down for an interview with CNET's Aloysius Low at the launch event for the company's new Xiaomi Mi 6 flagship and said that he had helped out extensively with planning out big moves for the company during Barra's tenure as CEO, especially in international dealings. While Xiang did not have a specific timeline for Xiaomi's entry into the US and Europe, two of the largest markets that Xiaomi is still absent from, the company's executive did say that the Chinese OEM wants to get into the US within the next two years, if not sooner.
While Xiang had recently seemed tepid on the idea of a U.S. expansion for Xiaomi, his latest statements paint a slightly different picture of the company's long-term ambitions. To put more detail behind Xiaomi's plans for a U.S. expansion, he echoed Barra's earlier statements that it was a complicated matter, and that there were a lot of variables to figure out. He also added that Xiaomi has a large fanbase in the United States that the company doesn't want to disappoint with a subpar product lineup, implying that the Chinese OEM is still careful when it comes to considering aggressive expansion that can easily backfire, which is what's been recently happening with LeEco.
For all the fanfare surrounding a potential U.S. expansion, Xiaomi is already present in 30 worldwide markets and plans to continue developing their foothold and fanbase in those markets. This means that they're in no hurry to expand, and would rather focus on creating and maintaining a global brand, much like their biggest Android rivals, Huawei and Samsung. Xiang also said that he will begin engaging the company's fans online — something that his predecessor often did — when he feels the time is right. In any case, an update on Xiaomi's expansion ambitions and other future business endeavors will likely follow later this year.