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Xiaomi expands in Latin America via Mexico

Along with offering two new phones, Xiaomi also launches a "Mi Community LATAM" for its fans in the region.

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Xiaomi will start selling the Redmi 4X in Mexico.

Xiaomi

Xiaomi's got its eyes on expanding in the Latin American market.

The Chinese smartphone maker on Tuesday said it would start selling two of its phones, the Redmi Note 4 and the Redmi 4X, in Mexico. The Redmi Note 4 will start at 5,499 Mexican pesos (approximately $296, £221 or AU$390), while the Redmi 4X will start at 3,999 Mexican pesos ($209, £161 or AU$284).

Xiaomi also launched a mobile app for "Mi Fans," called the "Mi Community LATAM." The company said the mobile app give its customer-created Xiaomi en Mexico Facebook group -- which has 15,000 members -- an official home. Fans who "actively participate" on Mi Community get special access to events and products. Xiaomi said the app will be available on the Google Play Store Mexico this month and will be rolled out to other Latin American countries "shortly."

"Mexico is a really important market for us and acts as our starting point to reach the rest of Latin America," Donovan Sung, director of product management and marketing for Xiaomi Global, said in a press release. "We hope to continue growing our presence here with the constant support of our passionate Mi fans."

The Redmi Note 4 can be purchased in Best Buy, Coppel and Sam's Club stores by the end of May. It also can be bought online from Amazon, Best Buy, Elektra, Soriana and Walmart. The Redmi 4X will be available at a later date that Xiaomi plans to announce through its official Facebook page and Mi Community LATAM.

Xiaomi is the Chinese startup that's made waves in Asia by selling its devices directly to consumers through flash sales. Its phones have flashy, high-end specs but sell for much less than devices from rivals like Apple. That model made Xiaomi one of the fastest-growing companies in the mobile market, but it hasn't translated as well to some other regions. Last month, the company told CNET it had pushed back its plans for expanding in the US to 2019.

Xiaomi also has faced more competition in its home country from vendors like Huawei, Oppo and even Apple, which has its own struggles in Greater China (the region was the only area where Apple's sales fell in its most recent quarter). In the first quarter, Xiaomi fell from third place to to fifth place in the China smartphone market, behind Huawei, Oppo, Vivo and Apple, according to market researcher Canalys.

This isn't Xiaomi's first push into Latin and South America. It has sold devices in Mexico before through third parties. Xiaomi also sells devices in Brazil, but it downsized its operations in that country a year ago.

For more on Xiaomi's push into Mexico, check out CNET en Español's coverage here (Spanish language).

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