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Xiaomi doubles down on India with $500M investment

Chinese device manufacturer Xiaomi is lining up a further $500 million investment in India, which the firm has described as its most important overseas market.

India has surpassed the US to become the world’s second largest smartphone market, and Xiaomi co-founder and CEO Lei Jun confirmed that the company expects its Indian sales to double this year, with a total value of $2 billion.

Across 2015 and 2016, Xiaomi invested around $500 million in India, building a second manufacturing facility in Andhra Pradesh in partnership with its contract manufacturer Foxconn. Xiaomi is aiming to invest the same amount over the ensuing three to five years, establishing a third facility and creating 20,000 jobs.

Xiaomi’s Indian investment is intended to rekindle the push into overseas markets that it began as a means of reducing its dependency on its home market. Xiaomi began manufacturing devices in India in 2015 and started an offering in Brazil, and it is now lining up a move into Africa and the Middle East.

The manufacturer’s successes have waned in recent years, with its shipments plummeting in 2016, driving down its global market share. Its overall valuation has also dropped hugely considering it was once deemed the world’s most valuable start-up, valued at $46 billion. In China, it dropped to fifth place from third following a 41% fall in shipments, and its market share halved from 14.8 to 7.4% in Q4 2015.

However, Lei was upbeat for the future, noting that Xiaomi’s total revenue this year is expected to exceed $15 billion, with its mobile apps and services passing $1 billion in sales revenue. However, its internet services did not meet their $1 billion revenue target.

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