From the day of his transfer to Xiaomi, Hugo Barra has worked hard and talked little, that's why his first public interview released at the conference "The Web"In Paris in December acquires a particular interest.
I leave you to my summary translation of the (long) video.
After a small presentation and greetings, Hugo begins to rattle off some data acquired in the two (actual) months in which he physically lived in China. A surprising nation, "a parallel universe" that every day never ceases to amaze him in such a way as to force him to keep a journal to mark the singularities he notes.
It then starts snapping impressive data on the evolution phenomenon of China: 600 millions of Internet users and 500 millions of smartphones that have doubled in the last months of 6!
This is followed by a succession of companies, applications and services, even here impressive numbers! Like those of the TaoBao e-commerce that corresponds to more than double eBay and Amazon combined. As Barra says "in China the proportions must be redefined".
Enthusiastic words for the service WeChat. Every single Chinese with a smartphone uses this service, and also its (of Barra) life and completely focused on this application. A complete and well-made software, a global social network that, however, allows some unique features. For example, remember Barra, last month Xiaomi managed to sell through this platform well 250.000 unit in 10 minutes.
Small excursus on the flourishing landscape of alternative AppStores, almost 100 in China. As you know, the PlayStore in China has been banned by favoring the development of alternatives including the one of the Xiaomi App Store. Interesting the question of the interviewer who, rightly, wonders why the Apple AppStore is allowed. The answer is as simple as it is alarming: the Apple AppStore allows you to apply the necessary restrictions (Censorship, ed) instead the PlayStore is "too" free.
Finally, then, the question: Why did you want to leave Google?
Hugo confesses that he has ridden the "perfect storm" of his life. He has always had the desire to live in Asia and in particular to learn more about China because of some incredible peculiarities, some of which are described before. Moreover in the last 3 years his work was exclusively centered on the Internet and now he wanted instead to put himself to the test in the more global management of a business, in this sense the Xiaomi was the best opportunity that could happen to him.
The Xiaomi in fact was born as a software house but it has evolved producing smarphone "around" its own software (MIUI) with a business model similar to that of Apple, controlling and directly managing each phase of the realization of its own devices. It is as if, says Barra, we found Google's dynamism in creating software with Apple's ability to create devices.
Hugo then spent a few minutes presenting the jewels of the Xiaomi house, the M3, the M2S and the HongMe emphasizing the incredible low cost of the same.
The interviewer also asks if we will ever see their products (officially) distributed outside of China. The answer is obviously YES and is one of the reasons why Hugo Barra was hired. It will not be easy, but Xiaomi's goal is to achieve worldwide success in China.
Hands up believe that Hugo Barra has made the right choice!
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