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Xiaomi opens its first store outside greater China

The Singapore Mi Home store is the first time the Chinese company is using a local partner to run a retail store not in China, Hong Kong or Taiwan.

Xiaomi phones are finally available offline in southeast Asia as the company has opened a shop outside greater China for the first time ever.

The sunny island state of Singapore hosts the first Mi Home store to open outside of China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. The Singapore Mi Home store, located at popular shopping mall Suntec City, sells Xiaomi's line of phones and accessories. But unlike other stores, it doesn't stock the company's other Mi ecosystem products such as the Mi TV or the Mi Rice Cooker.

Xiaomi says that it plans to bring in more of its product lineup in time. But for now, customers will have to make do with the Mi Max, Mi 5, Redmi 3S, Redmi Note 3, Mi Band 2 and other accessories such as portable speakers and power banks.

The Chinese manufacturer is using a local partner to run the store -- unlike the ones in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, which are run by Xiaomi itself.

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Xiaomi's Mi Home store in Singapore has a limited stock, but will bring in more products in future.

Aloysius Low/CNET

The company is also turning to regional online retailer Lazada to manage its online sales, an area it's managed by itself in Singapore up to now.

These moves to divest itself of retail responsibilities in Singapore could point towards a shift in Xiaomi's current strategy. It's possible the Chinese giant will focus on its home market to make up for ground lost to rivals Huawei, Oppo and Vivo.

While the company continues to battle it out for India -- the second largest smartphone market in the world after China -- it's likely Xiaomi will use the same retail strategy from Singapore across the Southeast Asian region as the company shifts its focus towards India, China and a possible US launch next year.