Wen Chu, the inimitable founder and CEO of Great Wall Club sat down with Lin Bin, the President of Xiaomi to discuss “The Power of Going Mobile – From One to All”.
Lin Bin joked that unlike his partner at Xiaomi, Lei Jun, who recently spoke in India at the launch of Xiaomi’s new Mi 4i phone, he would not be attempting to be interviewed in English. Lei Jun’s shouts to the crowd of “Are you OK?” have quickly become a inside joke amongst China’s tech glitterati.
It may not be perfect English, but it seems fair to ask the question “Are you OK?” to Lin Bin regarding Xiaomi, and the performance of other Chinese companies trying to access the global market.
Lei Jun remarked that in the last 10 years many Chinese companies have become global companies, with varying success.
India is a fast growing market for Xiaomi, they have signed deals with Snapdeal and Amazon, as well as Indian operators, and have learnt a lot in the process of entering the market. Before their launch in India they committed a lot of resources into understanding the Indian market, and the 4i was based on feedback received from Indian consumers. The launch event exceeded expectations, with over 10,000 people applying for 1400 seats.
Lin Bin said they will launch a new flagship phone soon. Although he wasn’t able to share much additional information, he teased an event in one week’s time where the phone with “gold-plated edges” will be officially revealed.
Wen Chu questioned how Xiaomi would ensure they keep focus when they seem to be working on so many diverse products. Lin Bin disagreed that their product line was too large – they focus on five key products in three categories: mobile devices, TV/Router and tablets. Not all products on Xiaomi.com are made by Xiaomi in-house, instead they work with ecosystem partners to design, produce and distribute new products.
Xiaomi has been criticised in the past for “hunger marketing”: that is, deliberately restricting supply of their products in order to create excitement around new launches. Lin Bin believed that such criticism is unwarranted, and that their main aim is to get great products into the hands of consumers. Preferably ones with gold edges.
Author: Matt Mayer