Rata Tata becomes investor in Chinese mobile giant Xiaomi

New Delhi, Apr 26: Chinese smartphone giant Xiaomi has been given a big boost in its drive to expand its footprint in India. Ratan Tata, Chairman Emeritus of Tata Sons, has become an investor in the Chinese company, Xiaomi’s Vice President Global Hugo Barra announced on Sunday.

“We’re really excited to announce our newest Xiaomi investor – Mr Ratan Tata, Chairman Emeritus of Tata Sons,” Barra announced in a post on Facebook. “We’re incredibly honoured by this extraordinary vote of confidence. Mr Tata is very excited about Xiaomi and our plans for India, and we’re really looking forward to working with him as an investor and advisor!”

The announcement follows last week’s India launch of the Xiaomi Mi 4i exclusively for the India market – the first launch outside China for the company, underlining its bet on India. Founder and CEO Lei Jun accompanied Barra at the launch event.

Xiaomi has scored with its recent launches in India – most notably the Mi 3 and the Redmi Note – which were sold out within minutes on Flipkart, with which it has a tie-up. The company is preparing to broaden its base by launching an India dedicated website and considering setting up research and development centres as well as service centres in India.

The company in February became China’s biggest smartphone vendor, surpassing Apple and Samsung, according to research firm IDC, with its price-competitive phones increasing market share in the past year from 5 per cent to around 12 per cent. Last month, another research firm report said in the 4G handset category in India Xiaomi had overtaken Apple and Samsung in January, and is now among the top five selling smartphones in India.

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