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Google executive to aid Xiaomi's growth

中国日报网 2013-08-30 10:13

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Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi said on Thursday that it hired a top executive from Google in a bid to boost its overseas business.

Hugo Barra, who was Google's vice-president of product management for the company's Android operating system, will join Xiaomi in October as head of international business development, Lei Jun, founder and chief executive of the Beijing-based Xiaomi, said on his Sina micro blog.

"Barra's entry into Xiaomi signals the speeding up of the company's globalization drive. Xiaomi started to tap the market outside the Chinese mainland by launching mobile phones in Hong Kong and Taiwan in April. It's likely that Xiaomi will expand to other overseas markets after Barra joins the team," the company said in a statement.

Xiaomi, which is backed by investors including Temasek Holdings and Qiming Venture Partners, said earlier this month that it had completed its fourth round of funding, giving it a valuation of $10 billion.

The latest round of funding also made Xiaomi, which sells its phones directly through its website, the fourth-largest Internet company in China, behind e-commerce giant Alibaba Group, service portal provider Tencent and search giant Baidu, which is an astonishing achievement given the fact that Xiaomi only released its first phone in 2011.

Barra, who joined Google in March 2008, said he will join the Xiaomi team in China to help the company expand its product portfolios and business globally.

"I'm really looking forward to this new challenge, and I'm particularly excited about the opportunity to continue to help drive the Android system," he said.

Xiaomi didn't reveal which overseas markets will be the focus of its globalization drive, but James Yan, an analyst at International Data Corp, a global market intelligence firm, said that the company may first expand to markets in Southeast Asia later this year and then tap the European and US markets early next year.

Data from several Internet consultancy firms showed that Xiaomi sold more smartphones than Apple in China in the second quarter. Figures from IDC said that Xiaomi's ranking is still lower than Apple, but among the top 10 best sellers in China between April and June.

Xiaomi has won sales with its inexpensive handsets running Google's Android operating system. While Apple sells the iPhone 5 on its Chinese website starting at 5,288 yuan, Xiaomi's most expensive handset is priced at 1,699 yuan.

Questions:

1. Who was just hired by Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi?

2. What will his job be?

3. How much is a typical Xiaomi phone?

Answers:

1. Hugo Barra, Google's vice-president of product management for Android operating system.

2. Help boost Xiaomi’s overseas business as head of international business development.

3. 1,699 yuan.

(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

About the broadcaster:

Nelly Min is an editor at China Daily with more than 10 years of experience as a newspaper editor and photographer. She has worked at major newspapers in the U.S., including the Los Angeles Times and the Detroit Free Press. She is also fluent in Korean.

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