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Chinese smartphone maker leaves bitter taste on UK launch

/ 05:37 PM November 13, 2018
Mi 8 Lite

Image: Xiaomi

Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi could have left a better impression when the brand entered the United Kingdom market on the first week of November.

The company launched a crazy flash sale promo that priced the Mi 8 Lite smartphone at just £1 (about P69). The sale was scheduled to start on Nov. 9. But to the surprise of many who anticipated and camped in front of its computer/smartphone screens for the sale, the devices were sold out almost as soon as the sale began, reports The Next Web.

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The disappointment quickly received criticism from Twitter users like Danny Frampton (dannyframpo) at how quickly the promo ended. He also questioned the actual amount that was put on the sale.

xiaomi

Image: Twitter/@dannyframpo

Twitter user Phil Williams, (@phil_williams81) took a look at the promo site’s code and found it rather curious. He claimed the site’s code did not even check the number of remaining stocks and simply displayed the text “out of stock” once a timer ran out.

The company would later clarify via a Nov. 10 tweet that the sale had “very limited quantities.”

Xiaomi UK

Image: Twitter/@XiaomiUK_

At the same time, they gave a heads up on an upcoming 1,000 pieces of £20 vouchers (around P1,370), which began distribution on Nov. 11 at 12 p.m.

Xiaomi UK

Image: Twitter/@XiaomiUK_

The Chinese smartphone maker has a reputation for regularly conducting flash sales in other countries as a cheap way to attract attention and gauge demand, according to a report by BBC. Spain enjoyed a similar €1 (around P60) flash sale in 2017, in which only 50 units were made available.

For a company entering a new market, a good first impression would help cement its identity on potential customers. However, an event with negative feedback could make penetration a little harder.  /ra

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TOPICS: $1, flash sale, Mi 8, UK, United Kingdom, Xiaomi
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