Exclusive: Xiaomi Global shuts down Australian online stores

Buying a Mi3, Mi4 or a MiPad just became a lot harder in Australia

Australian resellers of Xiaomi smartphones and tablets have ceased trading following a mandate given by the Chinese smartphone maker.

Online store XiaomiStore.com.au sold the vendor's smartphones and tablets up until Xiaomi Global representatives requested the store to be shut down.

“Xiaomi asked us politely to stop importing for the moment,” said Jeremy Bogan, founder and director Xiaomi Store Australia. The reseller was in operation from March up until two weeks ago, when Xiaomi requested the store to be shut on 25 July.

“We tried to do everything the right way by buying stock officially from Xiaomi,” Bogan told Good Gear Guide. “If customers have any issues, we’ll still honour warranties.”

XiaomiStore.com.au now displays this text alone
XiaomiStore.com.au now displays this text alone

Bogan could not disclose why Xiaomi issued the mandate.

Reseller XiaomiOnline had just started operations when Xiaomi Global issued it with the same mandate. Director Brent Kozjak said “we ceased selling smartphones immediately”.

XiaomiOnline was taken down on 7 August. A landing page is all that’s left on the website for customers interested in the “latest news on Xiaomi products in Australia”.

Read more: Xiaomi's Mi4 brings a touch of Apple to the open world of Android

Online store Yatango, formerly known as MobiCity, is still selling Xiaomi products in Australia. Marketing manager Mark Fury said Xiaomi had not approached Yatango; however, Yatango — unlike Xiaomi Store Australia and Xiaomi Online — is based in Hong Kong.

Telsyte managing director Foad Fadaghi said the move was unprecedented. “I’ve never come across this. It would have to be a strategic move,” said Fadaghi.

Xiaomi boasts a direct-to-consumer business model by selling its smartphones online. The company announced in April it will enter 10 new markets in 2014. Australia was not one of these markets.

“The online retail channel in Australia has been growing,” said Fadaghi. “We also see outright handset sales growing. The market conditions do lend themselves to more direct purchases.”

Despite conducive market conditions Fadaghi said it would be “very difficult” for Xiaomi to launch locally.

“It’s difficult for any brand to launch in Australia. I don’t think they can effectively launch in Australia without a strong carrier partner.

Read more: Xiaomi overtakes Samsung in China as largest smartphone vendor

“The question is: would they be willing to put in the resources to take on the premium brands in Australia?”

Xiaomi has earned the nickname “Apple of China” due to the similarities in design between the two products. A local launch could expose the company from a legal standpoint.

“Primarily Xiaomi is in markets where intellectual property rights or IP protection isn’t as high,” Fadaghi told Good Gear Guide. “I don’t want to prejudge them on the legalities but it might be an issue if a product contradicts another vendor’s intellectual property. You might see some challenges there.”

Read more: Tablet sales slide 28 per cent as Android overtakes Apple
Xiaomi's recently unveiled Mi4 offers premium specs for approximately $US320.
Xiaomi's recently unveiled Mi4 offers premium specs for approximately $US320.

Xiaomi was crowned the number one smartphone company in China based on findings compiled by research firm Canalys. The smartphone vendor, which was founded just four years ago, achieved 14 per cent market share in the second quarter of 2014, overtaking smartphone heavyweight Samsung in the process.

Xiaomi Global representatives could not be reached by Good Gear Guide at the time of publication. This article will be updated following correspondence from the Chinese smartphone vendor.

Send news tips and comments to tony_ibrahim@idg.com.au

Read More

Xiaomi Mi3 Review
MiPad:Xiaomi's first tablet reviewed

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags samsungMi3Mi4XiaomiStoreAndroidMiPadMiUIXiaomiOnlineXiaomi

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Tony Ibrahim
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?