With a shrinking market share and the exit of Hugo Barra, Xiaomi may be in trouble
It was big news when former Android executive Hugo Barra left to join Xiaomi as their International Vice President and English spokesman in mid-2013. It signaled that the Chinese smartphone manufacturer was looking to increase its international presence and become a major player. Now, with Barra's recently announced departure and a loss of market share to Chinese rivals Vivo and Oppo, Xiaomi may be in trouble.
Xiaomi was once valued at US$45 billion and led the Chinese smartphones market. This year, however, the company declined to divulge information on their annual sales numbers in the wake of admitting that they may have expanded too quickly. Reports from earlier in 2016 showed Xiaomi eating a 38% drop in quarter-on-quarter market share from Q2 2015 to Q2 2016. Recently, Xiaomi has diversified its products in different sectors, manufacturing everything from home appliances to notebook computers.
Being stationed in Beijing, China the past 3.5 years may have taken its toll on Barra, as he hinted in a facebook post: "the last few years of living in such a singular environment have taken a huge toll on my life and started affecting my health". Beijing is well-known for being one of the most polluted metropolitan areas in China. Barra stated he intends to return to Silicon Valley. Although his departure did not seem related to the company's performance, it will certainly not be a welcome development within Xiaomi.
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