LONDON — Chime-Tech, Harvard’s sister agency within Chime Group, has won the UK consumer PR brief for Chinese consumer electronics player Xiaomi after a competitive pitch.

The agency has been tasked with launching the Xiaomi brand in the UK, driving brand awareness and increasing market share. It has already launched the brand’s flagship handset, the Mi8 Pro, and Xiaomi’s first UK store, the Mi store in London’s Westfield shopping centre.

The Chime-Tech team, led by head of consumer Alix Vonk, will be driving consumer PR around Xiaomi’s aggressive product launch strategy, including reviews. The team will report into Xiaomi global communications manager Virginia Xu.

Xiaomi, headquartered in Beijing, released its first smartphone in 2011 and by 2014 had become the largest smartphone manufacturer in China. As of Q2 this year it was the world’s fourth-largest smartphone manufacturer after Apple, Samsung and Huawei, and was also the market leader in India.

Harvard and Chime-Tech Group CEO, Louie St Claire told the Holmes Report: "The consumer device market is one of the most competitive in the world. What makes Xiaomi stand out is the fact that it is developing an entire platform of connected devices – from kettles to toothbrushes, scales to scooters – that can all be accessed through its smartphone.

"This approach to IoT sets them apart from most other consumer electronic companies and has been key to its growth in the Chinese market. It’s a pleasure to be helping them break into the UK with this proposition."