Xiaomi opens plant to make smartphones
Xiaomi has opened a plant in Bangladesh to manufacture smartphones locally, joining a growing list of producers, both global and local, that are making high-end mobile phones in the country.
The world's largest smartphone manufacturer based in Beijing disclosed it at an event in Dhaka yesterday in the presence of Salman F Rahman, adviser to the prime minister on private industry and investment, and Zunaid Ahmed Palak, state minister for ICT.
The plant in Gazipur has been set up with an investment of $10 million.
The plant will produce about three million mobile phones per year, said Ziauddin Chowdhury, country manager of Xiaomi Bangladesh.
"Local manufacturing shows Xiaomi's commitment to Bangladesh, and we are able to contribute to generating more jobs in the country."
The factory is situated in a four-storied building with a total area of around 55,000 square feet. Around 1,000 people will be employed initially.
The first phone of the company to be assembled in Bangladesh belongs to Redmi sub-brand, which is expected to be available in the market from the first week of November.
POCO and Xiaomi series will also be made in the country.
For local manufacturing, Xiaomi has collaborated with DBG Technology BD Ltd, an electronics manufacturing service provider headquartered in Huizhou, Guangdong in China.
DBG operates manufacturing businesses in many countries, including China, Vietnam and India, for several renowned brands of consumer electronics.
Speaking at the event, Salman F Rahman said, "We have great faith in young leaders and young companies like Xiaomi. These new generation companies and entrepreneurs will be key to the success of Bangladesh."
He said the government was happy to partner with Xiaomi as it set up its first manufacturing unit in Bangladesh.
"We believe this partnership will provide new opportunities to the youth of the country and develop an electronics manufacturing ecosystem of global standards."
In a video message, Telecoms Minister Mustafa Jabbar thanked Xiaomi for choosing Bangladesh for smartphone production.
"This is indeed a great support to our movement of being a smartphone producing country."
Palak described the opening of the local smartphone manufacturing plant as a giant step.
"This will help us attain Digital Bangladesh Vision," he said, adding that Bangladeshis would now get world-class and innovative devices of Xiaomi at competitive prices.
Samsung was the first global company to have set up a mobile handset plant in Bangladesh. Later, Chinese brands Tecno, Realme, Oppo, Vivo, and Lava followed suit.
Among local brands, Walton and Symphony also manufacture smartphones locally.
Finnish multinational telecommunications company Nokia is set to launch its first production unit in the country under a joint venture with a local firm.
In Bangladesh, about 1.5 crore mobile phones are imported every year. Besides, two crore handsets are assembled locally.
Currently, there are 17.41 crore mobile phone subscribers in Bangladesh. Of them, about 53 per cent use smartphones, according to the latest report of the Groupe Speciale Mobile Association (GSMA).