In a nearly 5,000 square-foot ballroom at the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada on a Thursday morning in early January, Xiang Wang walked onto the stage to represent a young company that had been in the limelight for the past six years: Xiaomi.
As vice president for global business and intellectual property strategy, Wang is one of the people responsible for introducing the company to new markets. And on this day, at the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show, he was there to make perhaps the company’s most ambitious pitch to date: selling Xiaomi to the U.S.
“Most of you may know Xiaomi as an innovative smartphone company,” he said, addressing attendees that included media from around the world. “But we are so much more than that.” Wang highlighted the company’s involvement in smart TVs, internet services such as gaming, video, and financial products, as well as its work with connected devices. And while Xiaomi has already expanded beyond China into 20 countries worldwide, including India, it elected CES to educate the American public and press about what it does, even though there are no current plans to really set up shop in the country.
“Xiaomi is a six-year old company, and it’s reached a certain scale…Although there are a lot of people that know about Xiaomi, there are those that don’t fully understand Xiaomi,” explained Donovan Sung. As the director of product management, he oversees the creation of new products that are designed to appeal to specific markets, such as an air purifier for China and India. “We’ve reached a certain point in China and other global markets, and we want our story to be told in one of the most influential markets in the world,” he said, describing why Xiaomi is making its inaugural appearance at CES.