Xiaomi moves on Indian market with Tata investment

Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi has underlined its strategic interest in the Indian market by announcing Ratan Tata, former Chairman of Indian giant conglomerate Tata Sons, has made an investment in Xiaomi.

The news comes just days after Xiaomi held its first product launch event outside of China, with the unveiling of the Mi 4i, which goes on sale in India next month for 13,000 rupees (~$200). India, of course, is the world’s second most populous country behind China, with many other commercial similarities, so it’s not unreasonable to assume the Xiaomi model can be exported there.

“Mr. Tata is one of the most well-respected business leaders in the world,” Lei Jun, founder and CEO of Xiaomi. “An investment by him is an affirmation of the strategy we have undertaken in India so far. This is just the start of an exciting journey, and we are looking forward to bringing more products into India.”

Continuing the India media push, Lei Jun spoke to the WSJ to say he expects Xiaomi’s revenues from mobile services to triple this year and hit $1 billion. Xiaomi’s business model is different from most smartphone makers as sells the handsets as cheaply as possible in order to generate an installed base for its software and services. “The ways that Tencent and Alibaba make money today are the ways that Xiaomi will make money in the future,” said Lei Jun.

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