Xiaomi plans to invest $1 billion into Indian ventures

Even as Chinese tech manufacturer Xiaomi is making moves around the world, it will always have its biggest focus on its home region of Asia — more simply, China and India.

In India, Xiaomi is gearing up to build on its smartphone sales momentum with six more models in 2018 and new external spending. Xiaomi’s India chief Manu Kumar Jain told Livemint that it’s looking to spend $1 billion across large and small software and internet startups in the country.

Xiaomi’s five-year plan under CEO Lei Jun is to grow stakes in about two dozen India-based companies — mostly in finance tech and hyperlocal services on an annual basis. So far this year, with help from Xiaomi’s capital arm Shunwei, it has been involved in 10 firms.

“Our journey in India has just started. We can achieve a lot more on every front,” Jain said. “I really hope we can increase the pace and invest in a lot more companies.”

Jain also addressed growing demand for its smart home and mobility products — from scooters to water purifiers to shoes — that the company sells in China.

“We don’t know at the moment whether those products will do well in India, firstly, and secondly, even if we were to launch them for India, how would we customize them for Indian conditions?”

The product categories that currently work for Xiaomi in India are mobile technology, where it has two smartphones topping sales charts, and smaller peripherals like fitness bands. Perhaps the only way the company can expand its verticals is by expanding its payroll — Xiaomi India grew its worker base by threefold last year and looks to do so again this year — and its retail footprint.

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Jules Wang
Jules Wang is News Editor for Pocketnow and one of the hosts of the Pocketnow Weekly Podcast. He came onto the team in 2014 as an intern editing and producing videos and the podcast while he was studying journalism at Emerson College. He graduated the year after and entered into his current position at Pocketnow, full-time.