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Chinese smartphone maker Meizu aims to introduce itself to the U.S. with a Wi-Fi speaker

The $199 Gravity will go on sale Monday via crowdfunding site Indiegogo.


Although Meizu sold 20 million smartphones last year, few in the U.S. have ever heard of the Chinese phone maker. The biggest global splash it made was when Alibaba announced last year it was making a $590 million investment in Meizu.

Now Meizu is looking to introduce itself to the American market. It is doing so not with a phone, but rather by selling a bold-looking Wi-Fi speaker called Gravity. It's designed to compete with devices from Sonos and others.

Someday, Meizu might sell phones in the U.S., but it knows it faces intellectual property issues and other challenges before it can do so. In the meantime, it is starting with accessories, much like Xiaomi has done.

Because it doesn't really know what demand will be, the company is launching the $199 product on Indiegogo, though it stresses it isn't relying on crowdfunding to finance its business.

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