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Xiaomi partners with Three to bring its smartphones to Blighty

CHINESE PHONE MAKER Xiaomi has announced plans to start flogging its products in Blighty through a partnership with Three UK.

The Beijing-based firm said on Thursday that it has partnered with CK Hutchinson to bring its products to 3 Group’s (Three UK’s parent company) stores in Austria, Denmark, Italy, Ireland, Sweden and the UK.

The news comes just hours after the firm filed what could be the world’s largest initial public offering (IPO) since e-commerce giant Alibaba raised $25 billion after going public on the New York Stock Exchange in 2014. 

The firm’s move to partner with Three UK marks the first time Xiaomi phones will be officially available to buy in Blighty without buyers having to resort to importing websites. 

It’s unclear what Xiaomi smartphones Three plans to offer, and it remains to be seen whether the operator will also be flogging the firm’s other products, which includes wearables, laptops robotic vacuums, and, er, smart bikes.

Reuters reports, however, that some Xiaomi products will be sold in CK Hutchinson’s Superdrug stores in the UK – presumably those that are smart-health focused. 

Tom Malleschitz, chief digital officer at Three, said: “We have been watching Xiaomi’s success from afar and are impressed with the huge range of connected devices that they currently offer.

“This partnership provides us with another leading brand in our smartphone range and also opens the door for innovative new connected products that we can provide to Three customers in the future. So watch this space!” µ

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