Half of Xiaomi revenue now comes from outside China

(Image credit: gizmochina)

Smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi overcame the challenge of the coronavirus crisis to increase revenues by 13.6 per cent in Q1.

While lockdown measures in China had affected both demand and supply during the quarter, the easing of restrictions aided a recovery and production levels have now returned to pre-pandemic levels.

Income rose to 49.7 billion Yuan (£5.7bn) during the period, with higher average selling prices (ASP) of devices like the Mi 10 range and its 5G handsets a key contributary factor.

Xiaomi Q1 revenues

However it was the performance of Xiaomi devices beyond Chinese borders that was the headlining factor. Overseas revenue rose by 47.8 per cent to 24.8 billion Yuan, exceeding domestic revenues for the first time in company history.

Like a number of other Chinese vendors, Xiaomi has benefited from the growth of the market in its homeland, offering feature-packed devices to consumers with minimal brand loyalty. Xiaomi is now the world’s fourth largest smartphone market.

However as the domestic market saturates, these companies have looked beyond their borders for sources of growth. The biggest, Huawei, had enjoyed success before the impact of US sanctions began to be felt, while Xiaomi has tapped into demand in developing markets like India and Latin America.

There has been traction in Western Europe too, with Xiaomi now in the top four across Europe and in Italy, Germany and France. In Spain, it is now the market leader according to Canalys.

The results are cause for optimism but this is tempered by ongoing uncertainty surrounding Covid-19. Although China is slowly returning to normal, the situation differs from country-to-country elsewhere.

In markets where restrictions have eased, Xiaomi says demand has rebounded in a similar fashion to China. In the third week of May, when some European nations eased lockdown, Xiaomi said activations returned to 90 per cent of the usual average level.

Steve McCaskill is TechRadar Pro's resident mobile industry expert, covering all aspects of the UK and global news, from operators to service providers and everything in between. He is a former editor of Silicon UK and journalist with over a decade's experience in the technology industry, writing about technology, in particular, telecoms, mobile and sports tech, sports, video games and media.