HTC can learn from Xiaomi’s success in mobile internet era

HTC can learn from Xiaomi’s success in mobile internet era

Su Yi-yi and Staff Reporter


Chinese budget smartphone maker Xiaomi, which has been in business for just over three years, has outpaced Taiwan’s HTC to take the fifth spot in China’s smartphone market behind Samsung, Apple, Nokia and Huawei. HTC’s market value has declined by at least 80% since 2011 and the company must now assess how best to project its unique qualities amid global competition. HTC must also find ways to adapt to the current trends of the global mobile internet market and how it can interact with younger and trendier consumer groups.Insiders said Xiaomi’s popularity is a result of its distinct features, which significantly differentiate it from other Chinese brands such as Lenovo, Huawei and ZTE.

Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun’s vision has allowed his team to produce a series of popular phones. Xiaomi’s success has been determined by the Chinese market, while many IT brands in Taiwan have faced obstacles not due to insufficient innovation but because of a lack of detailed business planning and foresight.

Lei once said that HTC was a source of pride for Chinese people and the company was worth learning from. But right now it seems like HTC still has a lot of work to do. The prestige HTC has enjoyed is undeniable, along with its solid hardware and brand image. However, the company’s focus on technology is outdated and HTC should now find its place in the era of mobile internet, target younger customers and remain competitive.

The popularity of Xiaomi has been based on vertical operations. It combines a social network, community forum, e-commerce marketplace and instant message community, which have created a group of loyal users. But the model adopted by Xiaomi is still in its initial stages and will grow further as mobile internet development expands.

Xiaomi’s experience appears difficult to emulate for the more conservative HTC, whose problem is manifested in the projection towards market capacity and marketing in China. For example, its status accumulated over the years as a global brand is not evident in the Chinese market.

If HTC can overcome concerns of the global capital market, it is unlikely to be written off in terms of its competitive edge. Both HTC and Xiaomi will welcome the golden opportunities offered by the mobile internet era, which is expected to draw great benefits for both companies.

(Su Yiyi is a technology industry analyst in China)

About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (, the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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