Lee’s comments come as the company faces stiff competition in its domestic market from Huawei. Last month, Xiaomi launched the Mi 9 Pro, the first 5G phone for the local market.
According to Li, the demand for the phone exceeded the company’s expectations and led to problems in the supply chain, which encouraged the company to launch other phones that support the fifth generation of high, medium and low-priced phones next year.
“People in the industry are afraid that 4G models will not be sold next year,” Li said. “This is a step you have no choice but to take. We, therefore, hope that operators will be able to accelerate their expansion into 5G base stations”, he added.
Xiaomi’s share price fell steadily last year as competition in China’s smartphone market increased. In September, the company announced that it plans to buy back $ 1.5 billion.
In the second quarter of 2019, Xiaomi’s market share in China’s smartphone market was estimated at 11.8 percent, down from 13.9 percent a year earlier, according to market research firm Canalys.
All other major Chinese brands suffered from lower sales volumes as consumers flocked to Huawei, partly driven by national sentiment, especially after Huawei became the focus of trade tensions between the United States and China last May when Washington invited companies American technique of cutting mark with a Chinese company.
However, Xiaomi enjoyed success in Europe, where she is still a relatively new player on the continent. Market share in the second quarter of 2019 was 9.6%, up from 6.5% the previous year, making it one of the fastest-growing phone brands in the region.