Flat market at home, Xiaomi is planning big in India, to launch more devices

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Flat market at home, Xiaomi is planning big in India, to launch more devices Xiaomi is going to increase its spending in India as the Chinese smartphone maker has huge plans in the country.

Facing a challenging market in its home country, Xiaomi is mulling to establish two manufacturing plants in India and launch more devices this year.

Bin Lin, 48, co-founder and president at Xiaomi, told ET that he will be spending a lot more time in India.

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"We believe it (China) will be a flat market, if not, even decline. India is to further gain steam, selling around 140 million devices in 2016, compared with about a 100 million last year. Also, people buying smartphones from e-commerce are also going to grow very rapidly, and we're a big part of that,” said Lin.

Meanwhile, Xiaomi claims it has also applied for a licence to open its own retail stories for direct presence in India.

Xiaomi entered India in July 2014 and had partnered with contract manufacturer, Foxconn, which now makes 75% of the company's phones at its plant in Andhra Pradesh. Xiaomi sells well over 1 million phones a quarter.

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Lin also said Xiaomi was steaming local operations in terms of R&D for India-specific products and after sales services.

Speaking about competition, Lin said he was confident of taking up the rivals.

"There were 150 brands in China, now only 30 are left where six of us control 60% of the market. In India, there are 170 brands and its going up... it will drop to 30 here too because it's not sustainable," he said.

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"We've been competing with them head-to-head in China and we have an upper hand already, so it's proof that our model is very powerful," Lin said, adding that he will take several learnings from the India manufacturing process to China for improving efficiency.