Huawei’s Honor takes on Xiaomi with new gadget shopping site
Can Xiaomi’s “ecosystem” model work for Honor?
Xiaomi is known as being more than just a smartphone brand, as it also sells a number of other random gadgets on its shopping site (everything from TVs and toys to 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 (ahead of Xiaomi), announced its new V20 smartphone this week. But alongside the V20, it also launched lots of other gadgets 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 -- its new shopping platform.
Sounds familiar? Xiaomi has a platform just like that -- 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 Xiaomi sells products from other companies it has a stake in -- part of their “ecosystem”, which 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 the company’s own gadgets -- but Honor president said to 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 sales, with the two vendors often caught in head-to-head battles.
In the third quarter this year, Honor’s smartphone sales in China saw a 14% year-on-year growth while Xiaomi’s fell 15%, according to IDC.
Honor’s president claimed this August that they no longer see Xiaomi has 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 only on Android and does not have a website, but the products are all available on the Huawei’s site.