Chinese Smartphone Maker Xiaomi Poaches Google Android Chief Hugo Barra

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Xiaomi Tech, a smartphone maker known for outselling Apple in China has announced that it just hired Google's top Android executive, Hugo Barra, to spearhead its nascent global expansion. At Google, Barra was in charge of overseeing the product team for the company's celebrated Android mobile OS.

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Chinese Smartphone Maker Xiaomi Poaches Google Android Head Hugo Barra

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Xiaomi founder, Lei Jun, updated the news on his Weibo feed earlier this week. "Barra will be responsible for Xiaomi's global business expansion," Lei said on Weibo, a Twitter-like Chinese service.

It is worth noting that Google's Android is the most popular mobile OS used by the vast majority of phone makers in China. So Barra's unequaled knowledge and experience with the platform will help Xiaomi in a big way. In fact, most analysts are saying that the Chinese smartphone maker couldn't have found a better person for the job.

Xiaomi is one among a plethora of ambitious Chinese smartphone makers who have been quickly grabbing market share from players like Samsung and Apple. According to NY Times, Despite selling mostly in domestic markets, Chinese handset makers already account for 1/5th of global smartrphone sales. Companies like ZTE, Lenovo and Huawei are now expanding out of China to penetrate into markets across the globe for a thicker slice of the juicy smartphone pie.

How did Google respond to the development? Well, rather nicely. The tech giant seems to be rather sportive about the move. "We wish Hugo Barra the best," Google said in an e-mailed statement. "We'll miss him at Google and we're excited that he is staying within the Android ecosystem."

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