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Summary and translation of the interview with Hugo Barra on LeWeb, the first in public

Since the day of his transfer to Xiaomi, Hugo Barra has worked a lot and talked poco, that's why his first public interview released at the conference "The Web"In Paris, in December, it has a special interest.

I leave you to my summary translation of the (long) video.


On China

After a small presentation and greetings, Hugo begins to snatch some of the data he has acquired in the two months (actual) he physically lived in China. A surprising nation, "a parallel universe" that every day does not stop to astonish him in such a way as to force him to keep a diary to pinpoint the singularities he knows.

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!

Here is a rundown of companies, applications and services, again impressive numbers! Like those of the TaoBao ecommerce which is more than double that of 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. Interviewer's question is interesting, which rightly asks why Apple AppStore is allowed. The answer is as simple as alarming: Apple AppStore allows you to apply the necessary restrictions (Censure, ndr) instead the PlayStore is "too" free.

On Xiaomi

Finally, then, the question: Why did you want to leave Google?

Hugo confesses that he rode the "perfect storm" of his life. He has always had the desire to live in Asia and in particular to know China better because of some incredible peculiarities, some of which are described above. Furthermore, in the last 3 years his work was focused exclusively on the Internet and now he wanted to test himself in the more global management of a business, in this sense Xiaomi was the best opportunity that could happen to him.

The Xiaomi was born as a software house, but it has evolved to produce smarphone "around" its software (MIUI) with a business model similar to Apple's, controlling and directing every stage of the realization of its devices. It is as if, Barra says, we braved Google's dynamism in creating software with Apple's ability to create devices.

Hugo then dedicates a few minutes to present Xiaomi home jewelry, M3, M2S and HongMe, pointing out the incredible low cost of the same.

The interviewer also asks if we will ever see their products distributed (officially) outside of China. The answer is of course yes and is one of the reasons why Hugo Barra was hired. It will not be easy but Xiaomi has the goal of achieving the same success worldwide in China.

Hands up believe that Hugo Barra has made the right choice! 

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Simone Rodriguez
Simone Rodriguez

Blogger, but above all passionate about technology. I am part of a generation that has passed from the cathode ray tube to smartphones, making me witness to an unprecedented technological evolution. From 2012 I assiduously follow the Xiaomi brand that with the conveyance of various projects led me to realize, the home of all the Italian Xiaomisti. Write me: [email protected]


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