August 2, 2014 by ...
Xiaomi’s intrigue grows with not only news of insane sales numbers in India, but its Taiwan release as well. Unfortunately for them, the hype from both sets of sales figures just does not add up, literally.
While Xiaomi is no stranger to cribbing images and phone desings, fibbing about numbers got them whacked. A Taiwanese court fined the company $20,000 for misleading consumers about its flash sales numbers. Figuring its better to beg forgiveness than ask permission, Xiaomi issued what Kayleen Hong called a ‘cheeky’ apology letter shown here.
The ad claims that Xiaomi sold 30 phones fewer than the 28,000 it claimed to have sold. Nonetheless, the fine stuck.
Indian customers were upset at Xiaomi’s flash sales and hinted that Xiaomi may have fudged the numbers or diddled with actual sales.
“Other readers had similar experiences. Chethan wrote: “These #flipkart crashing & #Xiomi Mi3 out of stock in minutes stories are just bogus. it’s their brand building tactics… I mean I was watching the countdown and hit BUY the moment it hit 00:00 & it showed ‘Out of Stock’… come on…!”; Santosh wrote: “Its showing Out of stock at 2:01 pm, when the sale was to start at 2pm.. Is it a joke?”; Manoj wrote: “The Mi3 sale on Flipkart is a bloody joke. The phone went out of stock at 14:00 Hrs!!!! Are you kidding Flipkart?”.
Many saw the whole sale as a scam, and were angered because Xiaomi had not declared how many units would be available, while it registered 100,000 people who were interested in buying the phone. This resulted in a huge number of frustrated tweets:” link
Of course this not necessarily bode ill for Xiaomi, a company which thrives on buzz. Hype can sustain a business for quite some time, and hype is definitely on their side.
Xiaomi is strategically attacking world markets with a fresh new marketing strategy which works. Like, love or hate it, they are on to something. One can question the long term viability of a firm which alienates 90% of its customer base, but then again why are so many people lining up to buy one?