December 14, 2014 by ...
Here is the funniest quote you will ever read about Xiaomi and intellectual property (IP) theft. It is from Hugo Barra, Xiaomi’s less than logical VP.
Here is the laugher…
“We have been forced to suspend sales in India ….As a law abiding company, we are investigating the matter carefully and assessing our legal options,”
Did I read that correctly? Did a VP of Xiaomi have the balls to say ‘As a law abiding company…’?
Where do I start in tearing this sound bite apart?
Hugo Barra works for the company whose definition ‘not borrowing/stealing an idea from anyone’ can be explained by the following photos. Care to guess whose design Xiaomi is borrowing? (Fyi, these are Xiaomi ads. Xiaomi is on the left and Apple the right.)
I mean, the Indian High Court didn’t wake up one day and say, ‘Who can we kick out of the country?’ And then snapping their fingers decide on Xiaomi. Their decision, as it were, was based on facts.
Ericsson claims that Xiaomi is less ‘law abiding’ than Mr Barra would lead us to believe. This is based on the allegations that for the past three years Xiaomi has refused to remunerate Ericcson for using proprietary tech.
Maybe Xiaomi still thinks in terms of Mao’ist communalism, but western firms want to make a buck. Those same firms rely on those same ‘laws’ referenced by Mr Barra, to ensure they are paid for their hard work. By selling only in China, Xiaomi has been able to skirt those regulations and make a pretty penny. As they expand, however, this is no longer true.
By his tone, Barra makes it sound like Xiaomi had a choice in the matter. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Xiaomi was ordered to stop selling and marketing in India. Its online supplier Flipkart was also ordered to comply. In addition, Xiaomi was told to cease and desist all exports to India immediately. Indian customs was given latitude to stop Xiaomi kit at their ports to ensure that this happened. Unless Barra planned on air dropping MI4 handsets into Mumbai, his company had no choice in the matter.
Calling Xiaomi a ‘law abiding’ company is a ‘coke through the nose’ laugher. Anyone with a modicum of common sense can see how foolish this claim is. In fact, even Xiaomi execs admit that lawsuits are their biggest challenge.
Another strategic flaw that Lei Jun made was to underestimate India’s take on all matters legal by creeping into that market. They based their expansion strategy on countries they thought would be favorable to the cause. India, however, is not playing ball. Xiaomi’s legal beat down, shows us as much.