Huawei takes on Xiaomi with new gadget shopping site

Xiaomi is known to be more than just a smartphone brand, as it also sells a number of other random gadgets on its shopping site – everything from TVs to toys and furniture.

Now they’ve got competition, and it comes from Huawei’s sub-brand: Honor.

Honor, who ranked fourth in smartphone sales in the third quarter of 2018 (ahead of Xiaomi), announced its new V20 smartphone this week. But it also launched lots of other devices, including a 599 yuan (US$86.46) mini photo printer, a 199 yuan (US$28.72) “AI-enabled” home surveillance camera, and a 299 yuan (US$43.16) smartwatch for kids.

The new gadgets, combined with the line of wearables and smartwatches the company already has, are all on sale on Honor Qinxuan – Honor’s new shopping platform.

Sounds familiar? Xiaomi has a platform just like that. It’s called Xiaomi Youpin, which sells a wide range of products, from Baijiu to running machines.
One big difference between Xiaomi’s site and Honor’s is that the former sells products from other companies it includes a stake in or that are part of their “ecosystem.” This is how the company can make things like rice cookers and scooters without actually fully venturing into those markets.

In contrast, Honor Qinxuan only sells their own gadgets. However, George Zhao, Honor’s president, told Chinese media that it may open up to other brands in the future.

It might not be a surprising move since Honor was created by Huawei to combat Xiaomi in the budget phone market. Both target young consumers with cost-effective smartphones and focus on online product sales, with the two vendors often caught in head-to-head battles.

In the 3rd quarter of 2018, Honor’s smartphone sales in China saw a 14 percent year-on-year growth, while Xiaomi’s fell 15 percent, according to IDC.

Zhao claimed in August 2018 that they no longer see Xiaomi as a competitor, saying that they’re starting to look globally. But the new shopping platform suggests that Honor is still competing with Xiaomi – just in a way beyond smartphones.

Honor Qinxuan is currently available only on Android and does not have a website. Nevertheless, their products are available on Huawei’s site.

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