Chinese tech company Xiaomi—a name most Americans may not know, but one tht is valued at $46 billion—is beginning to sell its tech in the United States and Europe on Monday.
Xiaomi’s soft launch should serve as an indication of whether the company has potential to grow in the West (or whether the almost too-coincidental Apple sheen of some of its products will turn customers away).
Mi.com will begin what’s being called a “beta test sale” at 10 p.m. ET, selling just four items: a pair of headphones, two USB charging kits, and a fitness writst band. The company will not be selling its line of smartphones just yet, but certainly, depending on the success of these items, the door is open to do so.
The Verge has taken a look at some of the criticisms that have befallen the company, namely the visual similarities between the company’s products and Apple’s line of phones, tablets, and more. As no official action has been taken against the company (though Apple personnel has expressed dissatisfaction with the similarities), Xiaomi is looking to plant its flag in western markets and expand.
The Mi store—which could run into some confusion for people still keeping their Miis on their Nintendo Wiis alive—will open Monday night, but can be previewed until the sales go live.