经济学人|Xiaomi takes advantage of Huawei’s woes 小米逐渐替代了华为的市场

The Economist

LEI JUN, THE founder and boss of Xiaomi, a Chinese smartphone-maker, has long had something of an inferiority complex. For a decade Xiaomi has played second fiddle to Huawei, a rival Chinese producer of handsets. In a recent live-streamed address watched more than 30m times, Mr Lei admitted that his firm is not yet “in the same league” as Huawei. The audience, comprising mainly “Mi fans” (as devotees of Xiaomi products are known), booed the dispiriting assessment. That prompted Mr Lei to change tack, quickly adding that “you will find lots of things we do well”.

中国智能手机制造商小米的创始人兼老板雷军,一直有一种复杂的自卑感。十年来,小米一直扮演着华为副手的角色(华为是中国一家智能手机生产商的竞争对手)。在最近的一次直播演讲中,雷军承认他的公司还不能和华为相提并论,这场直播被观看3000万人次。观众主要是由米粉组成(小米产品的爱好者),他们发出了令人沮丧的唏嘘。这使得雷军改口,迅速补充道:“你会发现,我们做了很多很好的东西。”

Investors are not complaining. Xiaomi’s share price has doubled since June. Its value surged to $80bn on November 5th. The main explanation is the flagging performance of none other than Huawei, which has been cut off from a critical resource—mobile chips—after export restrictions imposed by America came into effect on September 15th. The regulations prohibit chip manufacturers whose products contain American technology, including suppliers outside America, from selling to Huawei. The chokehold is likely to depress Huawei’s sales for the foreseeable future.

投资者们并没有抱怨。小米的股价自六月份以来,已经翻了一番。在11月5日,其市值已经飙升至800亿美元。主要的原因是华为表现不佳,自从9月15日美国施加的出口限制生效后,它就被切断了关键原材料——移动芯片。该规定禁止使用美国技术的芯片制造商,包括美国以外的供应商向华为提供芯片。在可预见的未来,这种卡脖子的限制很可能会影响华为的销售。

Xiaomi is better insulated from the geopolitical storm. Unlike Huawei, which sells telecoms gear to foreign network operators, Xiaomi runs only a consumer operation. It is thus less likely to stoke foreign ire. Big chipmakers like Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, for instance, continue to supply Xiaomi even as they are forced to cut ties with Huawei.

小米可以更好的免受地缘政治风暴的影响。小米只经营消费者业务,并不像华为那样,向国外网络运营商销售电信设备。因此,它不大可能激起国外的愤怒。例如,台湾芯片制造商台积电等大型芯片制造商,继续为小米供货,尽管它们被禁止与华为交易。

New data from Canalys, a research firm, suggest that Xiaomi is cashing in on Huawei’s troubles. In the third quarter Xiaomi shipped 47m smartphones worldwide, up by 45% year on year. Huawei hawked more handsets, 52m units, but that is down by 23% from a year ago and the next quarter will almost certainly be even weaker. Xiaomi could soon overtake Huawei to become the world’s second-biggest smartphone vendor—behind only Samsung, which shifted 80m units in the quarter. Xiaomi is the undisputed winner from Huawei’s woes. Compared with the same period last year, third-quarter shipments from Samsung and Apple, which dispatched 43m handsets, barely budged. This suggests that consumers regard Xiaomi smartphones as a suitable substitute for Huawei’s products.

根据分析公司 Canalys 的最新数据,小米正从华为的困境中获利。第三季度,小米智能手机在全球的出货量为 4700万部,同比增长了45%。华为卖的更多,由5300万部,但与去年相比下降了23% ,并且几乎可以确定的是在下一季度将会表现更差。小米可能会很快超越华为,成为仅次于三星的世界第二大智能手机制造商,三星在本季度的出货量为8000万部。小米无疑是华为困境中的赢家。与去年同期相比,三星和苹果第三季度的出货量几乎没有变化,共发货4300万部手机。这表明,消费者将小米视为华为手机的合适替代品。

Like its Chinese rival, Xiaomi tries to cater to every customer. Wealthier folk favour the flagship “Mi” phones. “Redmi” phones are aimed at the mass market (similar to Huawei’s “Honor” series). This explains Xiaomi’s popularity in both developed and developing countries. It is the leading smartphone supplier in markets as diverse as India and Spain. Apple’s pricey products have less appeal in poorer countries.

正如其中国的竞争对手一样,小米试图满足每一位顾客的需求。富裕的那群人细化小米的旗舰机。红米手机瞄准的是大众市场(类似于华为的荣耀系列)。这就解释了为什么小米在发达国家和发展中国家都很受欢迎。它在西班牙、印度等不同国家的只能手机供应市场都是领头羊。苹果昂贵的产品在贫穷的国家没有那么大的吸引力。

The question is how long Xiaomi can sustain its fortuitous ascent. A new administration in America may lift restrictions against Huawei, enabling it to buy chips from global suppliers once again. If that happens, Xiaomi could be squeezed. To avoid this fate it talks of building on an “ecosystem” designed to keep customers interested. In addition to smartphones, which account for three-fifths of revenues, the company sells a range of smart devices, from light bulbs to electric scooters. It also offers fintech services like micro-lending. Xiaomi’s sense of inferiority could be a thing of the past.

问题是小米能够保持其幸运的上升势头多久。美国新一届的政府可能会解除对华为的限制,允许它再次从全球供应商那里购买芯片。如果发生这种情况,小米的市场就会被压缩。为了避免这种命运,它谈到了建立一个旨在保持客户兴趣的生态系统。除了占其营收五分之三的智能手机外,这个公司还销售一系列的智能设备,从电灯泡到电动滑板车。他还提供小额贷款等金融科技服务。小米的自卑可能会成为过去式。

Dialogue

A: So Cody , how do you think we can help this company grow ?
那么,candy,你觉得我们可以怎样帮助公司发展呢

B: Personally, I think we should develop a new product .
在我看来,我认为我们应当开发一款新产品。

A: Hmm , I have to say I disagree . I think we should stick to what we know .
嗯,我不得不说,我不同意。我认为我们应该坚持所熟悉的领域。

B: I see your point , but I think customers will eventually want something new and exciting .
我明白你的意思,但是我觉得顾客始终还是会想要一些新鲜刺激的东西。

A: Perhaps . A new product will also be expensive though .
或许吧,但一款新产品的花费会很大。

B: I agree . However , it also could bring us more money .
是这样没错,但是,这同样可以为我们带来更多资金。

A: Alright . Then what would you suggest ?
好吧。 那你有什么建议吗?

B: I’d suggest creating a product for younger customers.
我建议为年轻客户打造一款产品

A: Well , that could be useful . Ok , why don’t you do some more research and let me know ?
嗯,那应该挺有用的。 行, 你多做些调查,然行再告诉我吧。

B: Ok, sounds good .
好的, 听起来不错。

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