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Xiaomi Targets Indian Borrowers with New Online Lending Service

By Ding Yi / Dec 05, 2019 06:01 PM / Business & Tech

Photo: VCG

Photo: VCG

Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi on Tuesday launched an online lending service in India, in an effort to diversify its businesses in the populous country where it is currently the lead handset supplier, Reuters reported.

The service, called Mi Credit, connects smartphone owners with lending platforms, enabling quick loans of up to 100,000 rupees ($1,393) to each user after reviewing his or her credit status.

Xiaomi has established partnerships with five shadow banking and fintech firms to offer the service, Manu Jain, managing director of Xiaomi India, told Reuters. The Beijing-based company initially tested the waters of the Indian financial industry in March, when it launched mobile payment tool Mi Pay to rival similar products provided by Amazon and Google in the country.

Its lending service push into India comes a Chinese authorities have cracked down on the China’s scandal-ridden peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platforms. The number of functioning P2P lending platforms dropped to a record low in China of 456 last month, after several years of regulatory measures saw many big online lenders leave the market due to fraud and problematic management.

Xiaomi has been seeking business diversity overseas as global sales of its smartphones have started to slow. In India, its dominant position is now being challenged by Chinese rivals. In the third quarter of this year, the Indian market share held by Chinese smartphone rival Oppo jumped to 26.1%, compared with Xiaomi’s 27.1%. Xiaomi also recently announced it will be entering the Japanese market on Dec. 9.

Contact reporter Ding Yi (yiding@caixin.com)

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