Chinese phone maker Xiaomi has confirmed that it has stopped selling devices in India after the New Delhi high court placed an injunction on its business this week.
Xiaomi VP of International Hugo Barra revealed the temporary pause in India, which is triggered by a patent suit brought against the company by Ericsson, via an update on Google+. Initially, Xiaomi told media it had not received a notice from the high court, but that situation has changed now.
“We have been forced to suspend sales in India until further notice due to an order passed by the Delhi High Court. As a law abiding company, we are investigating the matter carefully and assessing our legal options… Please rest assured that we’re doing all we can to revert the situation,” Barra wrote.
Ericsson is protesting against Xiaomi’s “unfair” usage of a range of its wireless technology patents. The Stockholm-based company said its legal challenge was a “last resort” that it claimed has followed three years of attempts to communicate with Xiaomi about the issue.
Xiaomi told TechCrunch yesterday that it is “open to working with Ericsson to resolve this matter amicably” so this situation may yet be remedied quickly and without too much disruption to its sales in India. Indeed, Ericsson has struck recent patent deals with a number of India-based phone makers, and it may be holding out for a similar arrangement with Xiaomi.
The Chinese firm entered India in July, and it has since sold its Mi3, Redmi and Redmi Note devices in a series of flash-sale-like batches via online retailer Flipkart. Xiaomi is already selling over 100,000 units per week, and is expected to introduce its flagship Mi4 device in the first quarter of next year.
Xiaomi has scaled back its aggressive international expansion plans of late in order to devote more time to realizing its potential in some of its newest territories, including India and Indonesia, so it will look to avoid a lengthy sales suspension.
The company — which is now the world’s third biggest phone-maker — is tipped to sell 60 million smartphones this calendar year. Its executives are optimistic that the number will increase to 100 million units in 2015.