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China's Xiaomi finds first overseas e-commerce partner in Taiwan

TAIPEI--Xiaomi Corp. (小米), a fast-growing Chinese maker of cheap smartphones, took a first step in building an overseas network of e-commerce partners on Monday when it teamed up with Taiwan based Web portal PChome Online Inc.

Becoming Xiaomi's first official e-commerce partner to promote its phones, PChome will begin selling an initial allocation of 10,000 units of the enhanced version of the Redmi Note budget handset later this month.

Taiwanese consumers thinking about buying the phone will need to register their interest on PChome through their PChome accounts between June 20 and 26 before being permitted to order the phone online beginning on June 27.

Xiaomi President Bin Lin (林斌) said his company intends to seek similar partnerships in other countries to accelerate its expansion into more key overseas markets, such as Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, India, the Philippines, Thailand, Russia, Brazil and Mexico.

“Our cooperation with PChome will be a new attempt to create a better user experience by two major e commerce platforms,” Lin told a press conference, referring to his own company's Internet platform and that of PChome.

“PChome has many e-commerce innovations and is worth learning from.”

PChome Chairman Jan Hung-tze (詹宏志) said selling the enhanced version of the Redmi Note will give PChome a chance to learn how to deal with a high volume of online transactions within a short period of time, including how to manage cash flow.

The enhanced version of the Redmi Note is equipped with a 5.5-inch touchscreen with a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels, a MediaTek MT6592 1.7GHz octa-core processor, 2GB of RAM, 8GB of internal memory, a 13-megapixel rear camera, a 5-megapixel front camera and a 3100 mAh removable battery.

The 3G device will cost NT$4,999 (US$166), lower than most other octa-core smartphones in Taiwan including the InFocus M320 assembled by Taiwan's Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., a main supplier of Apple Inc.

Also on Monday, Xiaomi announced it was reducing the price for its high-end Mi3 smartphone from NT$9,999 to NT$7,199 for a contract-free 16GB model, which will be available on Xiaomi Taiwan's website from Tuesday.

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