Move Over Huawei, Xiaomi Is China’s New Smartphone King

HONG KONG—The swift decline in Huawei Technologies Co.’s smartphone business under the weight of U.S. sanctions has left an opening in the market. A different Chinese technology giant is filling the void.

Xiaomi Corp. is the new Chinese smartphone king. Consumers from India to France are snapping up its devices as Huawei sheds customers. Xiaomi was the third-largest smartphone seller in the world toward the end of last year, behind Apple Inc. and South Korea’s Samsung Electronics Co.

The Beijing company on Wednesday reported soaring sales in multiple regions, including a 57% jump in phone shipments in Western Europe, and a 52% increase in mainland China. Revenue for the year rose by more than one fifth, it said.

“We still have a lot of room to develop,” Wang Xiang, Xiaomi’s president, told reporters.

As it has surged, and plotted its future in the realms of 5G, artificial intelligence and internet-connected gadgets, Xiaomi has also drawn scrutiny from U.S. officials. In January, it was slapped with an investment blacklisting by the Department of Defense. Yet unlike Huawei, it has so far succeeded in winning a halt of the ban in a U.S. court.

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