Xiaomi’s Global Ambitions Begin in India

Xiaomi's Redmi is one of the best budget handsets you can buy. "Based on what I've seen at Xiaomi, the company is going to show the world its teeth in a major way over the coming decade." --Hugo Barra, Xiaomi's global vice president


Four-year-old mobile Internet company Xiaomi is one of China’s leading tech firms. The company is currently valuated at over 10 billion USD and has over 3000 employees.

The company’s global vice president (and former Google VP), Hugo Barra, recently sat down with CNET’s Aloysius Low in Beijing to talk about the company’s plans to go global and its dedication to Android: “And while it could still be a honeymoon period for Barra, the former Googler passionately believes Xiaomi has what it takes to to conquer the world.” Here is an excerpt:

“Things have been fantastic,” [Barro] says. “The culture here is very similar [to the culture at Google] — this notion of having a company formed by a large number of small teams that move very quickly, have a sense of ownership, and are somewhat autonomous and independent.”


The culture here, Barra says, blends Silicon Valley heritage with the Chinese drive for competitiveness and penchant for working long hours (and loving it). Barra cheerfully admits he has a lot more gray hair now.


“The engineers that I deal and work with on a regular basis here are really hardworking. They might even be more hardworking than some of the engineers in the Valley.”


“It’s the Chinese culture of revering work. People take work very seriously — not that they don’t in Silicon Valley, but it’s more impressive here. I noticed that people here are extremely passionate, almost to a personal level. They take competition seriously. I certainly don’t see that in the Valley as much, but you do see it from time to time,” he says.


“Taking it personally, I think, makes you even more passionately involved in what you’re working on. [The personal connection] helps you become more productive, more creative. It happens at the engineering level; it happens at the founder and CEO level as well.” Barra, in particular, loves the way Chinese CEOs debate their industry publicly and energetically on Weibo, the Chinese social network.

Read the full interview here.

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