Google executive to aid Xiaomi's growth

Updated: 2013-08-30 09:22

By Meng Jing (China Daily)

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Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi Corp said on Thursday that it hired a top executive from Google Inc 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 officer of the Beijing-based Xiaomi, said on his Sina micro blog.

Google executive to aid Xiaomi's growth

A Xiaomi Corp stand at the Global Mobile Internet Conference in Beijing in May. The Chinese smartphone maker is planning an expansion into overseas markets.[Photo/China Daily] 

"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 Pte 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 has also made Xiaomi, which sells its phones directly through its website, the fourth-largest Internet company in China, behind e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, service portal provider Tencent Holdings Ltd and search giant Baidu Inc, 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 in his Google + Web page that 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 help drive the Android system," he said.

Google has also confirmed that Barra has left.

"We wish Hugo Barra the best. We'll miss him at Google and we're excited that he is staying within the Android ecosystem," the company said in a statement.

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