This Famous Google Exec Quit His Job To Work In China - And He's Been Totally Blown Away By What He Found

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For years, Hugo Barra was one of the most visible executives at Google. He was a product manager for its Android team. Every year at Google's biggest conference, Google I/O, Barra would show off Android's latest new features for the whole world. Then, in August of this year, Barra quit Google to work for a Chinese company. In December, he gave a talk in Paris about how utterly blown away he's been by that place.

This is Hugo Barra.


Barra used to be a top executive in Google's Android division.

Hugo Barra at GoogleGoogle

In August he quit to go work for the "Steve Jobs of China," Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun.

After just two months in China, Barra spoke at the Le Web tech conference in Paris in December.


Barra told his interviewer that he's totally blown away by the place. He said he had some charts to show why…


He said the Chinese are incredibly educated with 8 million college grads per year - more than the US.

Hugo Barra's presentation on ChinaHugo Barra

He said Chinese disposable income is growing like crazy. It tripled over the last 8 years.

Xiaomi02Hugo Barra

He said China has at least 122 billionaires, second only to the US.
Xiaomi03Hugo Barra

Barra said China has 600 million Internet users - with 50% growth in 3 years.

Xiaomi04Hugo Barra

Barra talked about some of the huge recent huge IPOs on the Chinese stock market.

Xiaomi05Hugo Barra

Barra talked about how Chinese Internet companies have massive user numbers. MAU stands for "monthly active users." QZone has 600 million!

Xiaomi06Hugo Barra

Then Barra talked some specific Chinese companies. First he mentioned Alibaba, which owns Taobao, a shopping site he said is twice the size of eBay and Amazon combined.
Xiaomi07Hugo Barra

Barra said that during a Chinese holiday called "Singles Day" Taobao did more than twice the sales all US e-commerce companies did on Cyber Monday.
Xiaomi08Hugo Barra

He talked about JD, which does 3-hour delivery.
Xiaomi09Hugo Barra

JD has an app you can use to see where your delivery guy is.
Xiaomi10Hugo Barra

Alipay is like Paypal in the US, except it's much bigger and more useful. Barra says he uses to pay for his cabs.

Xiaomi11Hugo Barra

Weibo is like Twitter, except bigger. Barra only ever had 6,000 Twitter followers. In two months, he has 200,000 Weibo followers.

Xiaomi12Hugo Barra

Barra says he runs his entire social life through an app called WeChat. He uses it instead of the phone, email, or text messaging. WeChat also has an Instagram-like feature.

Xiaomi13Hugo Barra

The "Uber of China" is an app called Didi. Except with it, you leave a voice message for the driver telling him where to pick you up and how much you'll pay.

Xiaomi15Hugo Barra

Barra said MoMo is an app you use to talk to strangers who are nearby you. It's kind of a dating app. It has 100 million users.

Xiaomi17Hugo Barra

There's no Google Play store in China (it's banned), so there are a bunch of third-party app stores instead.

Xiaomi18Hugo Barra

One is called "91." It's a desktop app like iTunes. Big Chinese search engine Baidu bought it for $1 billion last year.
Xiaomi19Hugo Barra

Barra says he loves China, and is trying to learn to speak the language. Here he is at his favorite dumplings place.

Xiaomi20Hugo Barra

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