Xiaomi: international growth “takes a lot of time”

first_img AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInLinkedInShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to MoreAddThisMore 05 MAR 2014 Xiaomi Related Steve Costello Author Tags Steve works across all of Mobile World Live’s channels and played a lead role in the launch and ongoing success of our apps and devices services. He has been a journalist…More Read more Previous ArticleAward nominee interview: Best low-cost smartphoneNext ArticleInterview: MediaTek center_img EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Ambitious Chinese device maker Xiaomi’s focus on user experience – from device ordering to delivery and support – means that international expansion “takes a lot of time”, Hugo Barra, the former Google executive with responsibility for its overseas growth, told Mobile World Live in a new video interview.“We’re starting by exploring markets that are near – geographically near mainland China. So we’ve been in Taiwan and Hong Kong for a few months now, we’ve just launched in Singapore, we’re going to Malaysia next, and after that we’re looking at the rest of Southeast Asia and possibly India as well,” he said.But when quizzed on markets such as Europe and the US, the executive acknowledged that while this is a possibility, “we don’t know when we’re going to get to it”.The company sells direct to users, and “we do like to work on the end-to-end experience from when you buy a phone online from our website, all the way to receiving it, to talking to customer support,” Barra said. “So entering any market for us means actually creating a pretty significant operational footprint in that market, it’s not just a matter of doing a deal with a carrier.”Xiaomi does work with operators in some markets, with the executive stating it is “highly dependent” on operators in Taiwan and Hong Kong, where these players are the dominant source of handset sales.“But our approach is to give people choice. If you want to buy a phone full price and use your own SIM card, you can do that from our website. If you want to enjoy a subsidy, with a contract from a carrier, and get the phone at no upfront cost, then you have the option of going to the operators as well,” he said.Xiaomi is also working with operators to support its recent launch in Singapore.Watch the full video here. Xiaomi off the hook in the US Devices Xiaomi smartphone surge bears fruits HomeDevicesNews Xiaomi: international growth “takes a lot of time” US backs down on Xiaomi rowlast_img read more

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U.S. government shutdown hits solar

first_imgU.S. government shutdown hits solarAccording to the U.S. Department of Energy’s contingency plans, all but those activities related to protecting life and property have stalled. Contract commitments will be honored – until the money runs out. October 8, 2013 Max Hall Finance Installations Manufacturing Markets Markets & Policy Share With the U.S. government in lockdown thanks to the standoff between the House of Representatives and the Senate, the Department of Energy’s (DoE) solar activities have been put on hold as thousands of employees have been ordered to take unpaid leave. The DoE’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) – which performs R&D in areas including smart grids; the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), which recently published a roadmap to driving down the non-hardware ‘soft costs’ of solar; the department’s Office of Management, responsible for US$22 billion of annual contract obligations and $2 billion of financial assistance obligations; and the Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programs, which is driving solar deployment of tribal lands, are among the divisions with solar commitments affected by the government shutdown. As a result of Washington’s inability to agree a budget for the 2013-14 financial year, which started a week ago in the U.S., only essential federal employees – those concerned with protecting property and human life – are working. SunShot lies idle For the DoE, that means all but security staff and those tasked with maintaining energy infrastructure and nuclear security are on unpaid leave, meaning crucial solar programs like the SunShot Initiative are presumably idling – official confirmation is difficult to obtain with communications staff sat at home. Although the DoE’s shutdown contingency plan – last updated on Wednesday – stipulates contracts such as SunShot agreements to fund solar research will be honored, it adds, once funding from previous years has been exhausted, “the department may need to review the activities of its contractors and only those activities where the suspension of the function of the contractor would immediately threaten the safety of human life, or the protection of property, will be permitted to continue.” Almost 13,000 DoE employees on unpaid leave Across the energy department, only 948 of the usual 13,814 employees will be maintained, according to the contingency plan, published on the DoE website. President Barack Obama, who is refusing to sign off a Republican-sponsored budget which neuters his universal ‘Obamacare’ healthcare reforms, used Saturday’s weekly address to call for a solution ‘with no partisan strings attached.’ The Republican House of Representatives has persisted in attempts to strangle universal healthcare and is due to reconvene at 4pm CET. If the standoff persists until Friday October 17, the U.S. is expected to broach its $16 trillion debt ceiling, triggering a default, an event of such magnitude the world expects a solution before that point. 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