Hugo Barra’s challenge: Grow a Chinese phone maker beyond China


Xiaomi up Hugo Barra at LeWeb 2013

PARIS — promoting 18 million phones this yr could sound like a hit, and for Chinese language cell phone maker Xiaomi, it’s better than the 7 million Android smartphones it bought remaining yr. However, it’s no longer enough.

In China, customers doubled smartphone possession within the remaining 12 months to about 500 million whole — including 340 million Android telephones and one hundred forty million iPhones. To seek outgrowth in an awfully crowded market, the corporate, a couple of months again employed Hugo Barra, Google’s former director of Android product building.

Chinese phone

“I’m joining the workforce to assist us in going outdoor China,” he mentioned at the LeWeb conference here, Bara’s first public appearance given his departure from Google. “I am looking for markets and get to them as fast as imaginable.

He is now working a part of a business, no longer just working in product management. First on his listing for enlargement is Southeast Asia, which is shut and logistically more uncomplicated for a Chinese company, he said.

Xiaomi has about four 000 workers, and Barra described it as a go-between Apple and Google. For software — the corporate customize Android and runs its own app store — Xiaomi has “small, scrappy groups. You move as quickly as you could.” For hardware, the company designs its own phones but, like Apple, relies on doors manufacturing partners when it’s time to construct them.

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“Apple’s provide chain administration is the perfect there’s. We’re doing very similar things,” Barra stated.

He described China’s cellular market as fast-transferring and dominated by Chinese-native apps like Web, QQ, Aliped, and WeChat.

“Every individual I know is on WeChat. We do not use telephone, fast messaging, or textual content messaging,” he mentioned. “It is fresh when your whole social life is on one platform.”