Xiaomi plans to replicate China model in India, turn into internet company

Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi aims to become more of an internet company in India going forward, replicating its China model, by monetising a host of services such as finance and entertainment, a top executive said, adding that the short-term goal remains to take leadership position in the handset space. Manu Jain, managing director of Xiaomi’s India operations, however said that the internet-company model which took the internet-company model which took seven years in its home country to take shape will take some years to fructify in India where the smartphone maker has been operating for just three years.

“We’re much more than a smartphone brand. Our hardware business is important, as it helps us acquire large number of internet users for our internet platforms like managing director of Xiaomi’s India operations, Mi finance, Mi entertainment,” said Jain.

“We have a concrete plan to launch these services in India, we’re carefully evaluating on when to launch these services. Our ultimate objective is to build our internet business and monetise our internet layer so we can make money from a long term perspective, from our operating system MIUI,” he added.

 The company – which has already clocked $1 billion in revenue from its India operations and is on its way to more than doubling it this year – will consider three key factors of market maturity, life cycle of the company in a region and its team capability, before bringing any of its internet services to India.
In the short term, however, Xiaomi which is the No. 2 smartphone brand in India by volumes, would look at gaining share from rivals in the market, on the back of its Mi and Redmi range of devices with high quality and specifications but priced at half the prevalent market rates.

The Bengaluru-headquartered company, selling more than 4 million smartphones a quarter since the beginning of the year, has now set its eyes on the premium segment where Samsung, Apple and OnePlus have major presence. The premium segment has become as competitive as the mid-range and sub Rs 10,000 segments, with OnePlus leading in the above Rs 30,000 price range.

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