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


Xiaomi up Hugo Barra at LeWeb 2013

PARIS — Promoting 18 million phones this year could sound like a hit, and for Chinese language cell phone maker Xiaomi, it’s better than the 7 million Android smartphones it bought in the remaining year. 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 growth in a crowded market, the corporate employed Hugo Barra, Google’s former director of Android product building, a couple of months ago.


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

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

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

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“Apple’s provided chain administration is perfect there. 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.”