The United States, like China, has a smartphone market that’s simply too massive to ignore, so it’s no surprise that Xiaomi wants a piece of the action. The burgeoning Chinese company is already dominating the market in its home country, but while an American expansion is definitely part of Xiaomi’s plans for the future, such an expansion will be quite a ways off as the company tries to amass a patent “war chest” to compete against the likes of Apple.
Xiaomi was founded only five years ago, but it’s already jockeying with Apple for the top spot in China’s smartphone market. The company was recently valued by investors at $45 billion, and it has been expanding its phone sales outside China to such countries as India and Brazil. It has also moved beyond phones to sell smart televisions, fitness bands, and water purifiers. Helping to lead Xiaomi’s world-dominating ambitions is Hugo Barra, a former Google executive who worked on the Android software that underpins Xiaomi phones. Barra, the company’s vice president of global operations, recently sat down for an interview with Bloomberg TV’s Studio 1.0, which airs July 16 at 7:30 p.m. ET/PT. He talked about his former colleagues at Google, when Xiaomi might start selling phones in the U.S., and why the Chinese gadget maker isn’t following Apple’s lead to become a carmaker.