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'China's Apple' heading to Asia and Latin America

Xiaomi boss and former Android man Barra leads the charge towards India, Brazil

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China's smartphone darling Xiaomi has revealed ambitious expansion plans that will see the Beijing-based firm launch across Asia and Latin America.

Xiaomi Global VP and former Googler Hugo Barra told the audience at the China 2.0 forum in Beijing last Friday that the firm would soon be expanding into Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand.

Most of these south-east Asian markets will be ticked off the list before the firm attempts a major push into India, he said, according to TechInAsia.

Also on the hit list are fast-growing Brazil, Mexico and possibly other Latin American markets.

There was no news on if or when the firm will attempt to crack the UK or US, although Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak reckons it has what it takes.

In January this year he claimed the firm had “excellent products” which are “good enough to break the American market”.

Xiaomi has seen its stock rise meteorically since the company was founded in 2010.

Making a name for itself in China by producing beautifully sleek handsets at budget prices, it has to date done well in Hong Kong, China and Singapore.

Part of Xiaomi's success has come thanks to a near fanatical base of followers who snapped up 150,000 units of its latest flagship handset the Mi-3 in under 10 minutes in China - purchasing through the chat app WeChat.

“Xiaomi is innovating in a way you don’t really see elsewhere. It shows these [Chinese] companies don’t have to be followers,” IDC analyst Melissa Chau told El Reg.

“In terms of its marketing, it really listens to its users and tries to include feedback on features into upgrades.”

CEO Lei Jun claimed earlier this year that the firm could sell as many as 60 million handsets this year.

There are also rumours the firm is set to announced a new handset - the Mi-3S. ®

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