The CEO of one of China's biggest phone makers said the company might start selling its smartphones in the US this year

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The CEO of one of China's biggest phone makers said the company might start selling its smartphones in the US this year

Lei Jun

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Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun.

Xiaomi is China's fourth largest and most influential phone manufacturer, but it doesn't sell smartphones in the US - yet.

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In an interview with The Wall Street Journal (first reported on by ZDNet), Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun spoke about the company's foray into the US, saying that the first smartphones might arrive as early as the end of this year, or in early 2019 at worst.

Jun didn't give any further details, so it's not clear which devices will hit the US market, nor if any of the four big carriers will sell them in their retail stores.

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Xiaomi already has a presence in the US, however, where it sells the Mi Box set-top box, as well as fitness trackers, smartwatches, and a number of smart home devices, all via its online store.

This isn't the first time Jun has teased the idea of Xiaomi smartphones coming to the US: "We hope to be an immediate success in the US," he told a group of reporters in December last year. "We need a lot of time and careful preparation to achieve that."

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