Business

Chinese smartphone maker hires Google executive

Hugo Barra makes move from Google to the mobile phone industry in China.
Hugo Barra makes move from Google to the mobile phone industry in China.

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In a sign of the rising export ambitions of the Chinese mobile phone industry, a smartphone maker called Xiaomi said Thursday that it had hired a top executive away from Google to lead its international expansion plans.

The executive, Hugo Barra, is one of the highest-profile Westerners to join a Chinese technology company, analysts said. At Google, he has served as vice president for Google’s Android mobile operating system, which is used by the vast majority of smartphones in China.

“He’s a significant figure in the industry, a significant figure at Google,” said Pete Cunningham, an analyst at Canalys, a research firm. “It underlines the trend we’re seeing in the market. The Chinese vendors are going to play a big part in shaping the future of the industry.”

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