Xiaomi handsets make big demands over Christmas week

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A good number of Xiaomi smartphones were unwrapped as presents over the Christmas period.

Reporters visit the first Xiaomi store opened in Taipei, China's Taiwan, Aug 6, 2015.[Photo/Xinhua]

Reporters visit the first Xiaomi store opened in Taipei, China's Taiwan, Aug 6, 2015.[Photo/Xinhua] 

The Beijing-based corporation became a top-five electronics vendor by new device activations during Christmas week.

It is the first time that a Chinese company has joined the "club" long dominated by Apple and Samsung Electronics, according to a research firm.

About 1.5 percent of the smartphones and tablets activated worldwide between Dec 20 and Dec 26 carried the Xiaomi logo. Flurry, a Yahoo subsidiary that tracks downloads of mobile apps, said this made the 5-year-old company the fifth most popular brand during this period.

Xiaomi's market share was close to those of Nokia and LG Electronics, which are also striving to secure more than 2 percent of activations.

Apple and Samsung, the top two, saw nearly 70 percent of the holiday activations, according to Flurry, which reviewed data collected from 780,000 types of apps.

Xiaomi said statistics for Christmas sales have not yet been announced.

Jarah Euston, vice-president of Yahoo's Emerging Business Unit, said Xiaomi's achievement in making it to the top-five list is especially noteworthy, as Christmas is not the biggest gift-giving day of the year in China.

Xiaomi smartphones have yet to enter the market in the United States, and nearly all its sales have been generated domestically.

But as more young people in China exchange gifts to mark Western festivals such as Thanksgiving, Christmas and Valentine's Day, sales have started to increase.

Nie Miao, a 28-year-old who works for a construction company in Beijing, said the Xiaomi handset made a great holiday present. "The reason was simple-many friends of mine love Xiaomi devices," he said.

James Yan, a smartphone researcher at IDC, said improving product quality and design is "earning credibility" for Xiaomi when it comes to selecting gifts.

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