Total Pageviews

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Daily Report: Chinese Mobile Phone Company Poaches Google Executive

In a sign of the rising export ambitions of the Chinese mobile phone industry, the smartphone maker Xiaomi said Thursday that it had hired a top executive away from Google to lead its international expansion plans, Eric Pfanner reports.

The executive, Hugo Barra, is one of the highest-profile Westerners to join a Chinese technology company, analysts said.

“He’s a significant figure in the industry, a significant figure at Google,” said Pete Cunningham, an analyst at Canalys, a research firm. “It underlines the trend we’re seeing in the market. The Chinese vendors are going to play a big part in shaping the future of the industry.”

At Google, Mr. Barra has served as vice president for Google’s Android mobile operating system, which is used by the vast majority of smartphones in China.

Xiaomi is one of a number of Chinese smartphone makers that have been gaining market share in China against foreign rivals like Apple and Nokia. Until recently, these Chinese companies seemed happy with their rising sales in China, the biggest smartphone market, but now companies like Xiaomi, Lenovo and Huawei seem intent on expanding abroad.

Mr. Barra said in a statement posted on a Google social networking service that he intended to help Xiaomi “expand their incredible product portfolio and business globally.”

“I’m really looking forward to this new challenge, and am particularly excited about the opportunity to continue to help drive the Android ecosystem,” he wrote.