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Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi expands to Singapore retail market

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SINGAPORE, Feb. 21 (Xinhua) -- Fast-growing Chinese smart phone maker Xiaomi started to sell its smart phones to Singapore-based buyers from its online store on Friday.

The midrange Redmi, which literally means red rice, was sold out within minutes of the launch, according to information from its online store. The phone sells at 169 Singapore dollars (134 U. S. dollars), a price that the local media said was irresistible given its fairly good feel.

The company, one of the most successful start-ups in China in recent years, has previously said that it will sell its flagship Mi-3 smart phone to the Singapore market at 419 Singapore dollars (332 U.S. dollars).

Xiaomi has so far been selling its products in China, including Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan.

It has been a mobile darling for the last year or so, and hired Google's former head of Android product development Hugo Barra to lead its overseas expansion.

It offers what would be considered by most reviewers high-end devices that come in at surprisingly affordable prices.

The smart phone maker also used restricted supply to build up strong demand for its handsets, which typically sell out within minutes after their launch.

The company sold about 18 million phones last year, up from 7 million in 2012.

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