SEOUL, Jan.7 (Korea Bizwire) – A special sales event for a Xiaomi smartphone hosted by an online shopping site was canceled soon after its launch.
Complaints from angry consumers quickly filled up internet message boards, which only proved that the cancelation of the event showed the growing influence of Chinese smartphones.
With an unsatisfying explanation about why the event was suddenly canceled, the public speculated that domestic smartphone manufacturers pressured the online shopping site to stop the event.
The internet shopping site Interpark announced on January 5 that it would launch a special promotion, ‘Xiaomi’s Hongmi Note 3, Now with Olleh!’. The Hongmi Note 3 is a budget smartphone launched by Xiaomi in November 2015, and Interpark’s campaign promised discounts when the product was purchased on their site and a phone plan activated at KT.
However, the event was suddenly canceled in the evening of January 5. KT’s corporate headquarters claimed that Interpark negotiated the event with one of its affiliates, and senior officials had not received any information about the campaign throughout the procedure.
KT officials commented that the event was discussed between Interpark and a few KT resellers, and was not a decision of KT headquarters.
Telecom industry analysts say that KT is feeling pressure for being the one to bring Chinese smartphones to the domestic market.
Industry watchers are presuming that Xiaomi will soon officially enter the Korean market, after Huawei, which entered the domestic market through LG U+. Xiaomi’s phones are already popular in Korea, as nearly 10,000 units of the Hongmi Note 3 were sold via direct overseas purchases in the past month.
Online shopping sites such as Interpark and 11st have already executed direct overseas purchases of the Hongmi Note 3 for individual customers.
By Lina Jang (firstname.lastname@example.org)