Chinese smartphone specialist Xiaomi recruited the former head of Google’s mobile products business - Hugo Barra - to become the new head of its international operations last year. Having taken a few months to find his feet, Barra has recently been on a publicity offensive with Xiaomi’s planned international expansion the theme.
Right now Xiaomi sells competitively-price Android smartphones within China, which contain software and services aimed specifically at Chinese consumers. But Barra has said that within two years he expects Xiaomi to have a portfolio of mobile products that can be used anywhere in the world, which will be the bedrock of the company’s global expansion starting with other Asian markets such as Malaysia and India.
Recent unconfirmed reports have Xiaomi setting new records for unit shipments in Q1 2014 so it looks like the company has momentum on its side. But, as other Chinese OEMs have found, strong domestic sales are in no way a sign of success internationally. Our Country Share Tracker (CST) service believes Barra will need to use all the knowledge and skill acquired at Google to ensure Xiaomi is viewed as a genuine alternative to the many other Android vendors currently operating on a global level.