Google Drive service is unavailable on handsets sold in the mainland Chinese market and most users in China rely on third-party data transfer apps….reports Asian Lite News
Three Chinese technology brands, OPPO, Vivo and Xiaomi, have joined hands to allow users to transfer data between their devices to take on the growing Apple’s market share in the country, the media reported on Friday.
The three smartphone makers announced the pact on their Weibo accounts, saying their users be able to move system and app data “seamlessly to a new handset belonging to any of these brands,” reports South China Morning Post.
In 2019, Oppo, Vivo and Xiaomi set up a wireless transfer protocol that mirrors Apple’s AirDrop function.
Google Drive service is unavailable on handsets sold in the mainland Chinese market and most users in China rely on third-party data transfer apps.
However, Apple iPhone users can directly move data to a new iOS device via the iCloud service or a Bluetooth and Wi-fi connection.
“The new partnership between Xiaomi, Vivo and Oppo, which jointly control nearly half of China’s smartphone market, comes after the country last year saw its steepest fall in smartphone sales in a decade,” the report mentioned.
However, China’s smartphone market recorded a good start to the new year and at the start of 2023, the sales quickly increased week over week to reach above 7 million.
In four out of five weeks, the sales stayed above 6 million, a level seldom reached in 2022 when the pandemic haunted China’s cities from time to time.
The Chinese New Year season also started earlier than usual this year, helping the weekly sales walk out of the trough at the beginning of 2023, reports Counterpoint Research.
Apple remained China’s biggest original equipment manufacturer (OEM) in January in terms of sales share and its sales increased about 6 per cent YoY.
The smartphone market in China has contracted after 2017 in terms of YoY sales growth. Q4 2022 recorded a 15 per cent YoY decline, hitting major OEMs’ confidence and further darkening market prospects.
Chinese businesses like Xiaomi have already been impacted by India’s emphasis on consumer protection, raising concerns about the future growth potential of foreign businesses in India. Given Xiaomi’s cost and sizable ecosystem, many consumers find this to be very worrying
Xiaomi, a Chinese producer, and designer of numerous consumer electronics products, cemented its position as the third-largest smartphone vendor in the world in October 2022, trailing only Apple and Samsung. With its extensive ecosystem of goods, services, and software, Xiaomi has been able to bridge a significant gap in the availability of inexpensive access to digital services in many developing nations, including India. Xiaomi is known for producing affordable smartphones.
Despite this accomplishment, Xiaomi removed its MiPay and MiCredit apps from the Indian market in late October 2022. Given Xiaomi’s position as India’s leading smartphone seller despite the industry’s expected downturn in late 2022, this move is especially puzzling.
In contrast to depending on externally sourced technology vulnerable to state-actor influence, the elimination of these auxiliary commercial services backed by Xiaomi illustrates the growing need for governments like India to control data and information more effectively domestically.
In response to being labelled as a “Communist Chinese military business” during the time by the United States, Xiaomi publicly declared in January 2021 that its goods are not “owned, controlled, or linked with the Chinese military.
The recent cutbacks in Xiaomi’s services in India suggest that more people are becoming aware of the procedures that could provide the Chinese government access to private individual and national-level data. Due to the advances that Chinese technology infrastructure may provide to citizens at a reasonable cost, India’s actions show a decrease in the tolerance that was previously granted to businesses.
MiPay and MiCredit helped Xiaomi expand its foothold in India, where it had previously included the majority of its product lines. Users may conduct transactions on the unified payments interface (UPI) payment network in India using MiPay, while MiCredit serves as a marketplace for low-interest personal loans.
MiPay, which was formerly ranked at position 15 on the UPI’s approved third-party application page, used its connection to UPI to compete with domestic systems like Google Pay and the Indian apps BharatPe and PayTM. While BharatPe, PayTM, and Google Pay dominate India’s UPI payments ecosystem, MiPay, which made its international debut in 2019 as Xiaomi’s maiden financial service release, appears to be in a strong position to capture a sizable portion of the market. The market share of each app was limited by a January 2021 rule to 30 percent of the whole market;
MiPay’s seamless integration with Xiaomi phones was anticipated to help it attract customers in light of the application of this ruling in January 2023.
MiCredit used phone activity data to assess users’ creditworthiness, searching these records for transaction data and other specifics. To promptly provide loans to users, this information would subsequently be given to regional partners like the company KreditBee.
Chinese businesses like Xiaomi have already been impacted by India’s emphasis on consumer protection, raising concerns about the future growth potential of foreign businesses in India. Given Xiaomi’s cost and sizable ecosystem, many consumers find this to be very worrying.
Due to “illegal transfers” sent to overseas organisations, India’s federal agency for combating financial crime, the Enforcement Directorate, seized cash from Xiaomi India at the beginning of October 2022. The Indian government had sent letters to Chinese-based smartphone makers including Xiaomi, Oppo, and Vivo, requesting information on the data and components used in each of their smartphones, in October 2021, one year before this statement. In addition, India banned 59 Chinese apps in June 2020, including the social forum and web browser software MiCommunity and MiBrowser from Xiaomi.
The stringent regulatory measures India has taken against Chinese companies, including Xiaomi, show the lengths it would go to defend its citizens’ own digital infrastructure. The ban on Xiaomi-specific applications raises more concerns about the possible digital influence of Chinese government state actors.
The steps taken by India appear to be especially focused on preventing foreign access to and influence over the data of its citizens. This idea of ensuring digital infrastructure sovereignty is supported by the elimination of apps like MiPay and MiCredit, which offer unmatched access and placement into important data networks like UPI and users’ specific devices.
The decision by India to limit access to vital data networks like UPI and consumers’ mobile-specific data through MiPay and MiCredit highlights the developing need for countries to understand the importance of technology infrastructure sovereignty, especially in this era of strategic competition. Although Xiaomi is currently perceived as having relatively few ties to the Chinese government when compared to other companies like Huawei and ZTE.
The company had 14,700 employees in its research and development vertical in the same time-frame…reports Asian Lite News
Chinese smartphone giant Xiaomi has slashed more than 900 jobs amid the ongoing economic meltdown as its revenues dropped nearly 20 per cent in the June quarter (Q2), the media reported on Saturday.
According to the South China Morning Post, the layoffs affected nearly 3 per cent of Xiaomi’s workforce.
As of June 30, 2022, the company had 32,869 full-time employees, 30,110 of whom were based in mainland China, primarily at its headquarters in Beijing, with the rest primarily based in India and Indonesia.
The company had 14,700 employees in its research and development vertical in the same time-frame.
“In this quarter, our industry faced many challenges, including rising global inflation, foreign exchange fluctuations (and) complex political environment,” said Xiaomi president Wang Xiang during a call with analysts after reporting its quarterly earnings on Friday.
“These challenges significantly impacted overall market demand and our financial results for the period,” said Xiang.
Revenue from the smartphone segment slumped 28.5 per cent, from 59.1 billion yuan in the second quarter last year to 42.3 billion yuan this year, “primarily due to the decreased sales of our smartphones”.
“In the second quarter of 2022, global macroeconomic turbulence and the resurgence of Covid-19 continued to impact overall market demand for smartphones,” said Xiaomi.
Global smartphone industry shipments declined 8.9 per cent year-over-year and 7.7 per cent quarter-over-quarter, and mainland China industry shipments declined 10.1 per cent year-over-year and 10.9 per cent quarter-over-quarter, according to Canalys.
Earlier, Chinese conglomerate Tencent fired 5,500 employees, after posting a revenue of $19.8 billion in the June quarter, down 3 per cent which is the first decline since going public.
Meanwhile, Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi on Friday said the ongoing investigations and allegations in India could take a long period of time to settle, and the company could receive judgments or enter into “settlements that may adversely affect its operating results or cash flows”.
The company, which registered around 20 per cent drop in its global sales at $10.31 billion in the June quarter (Q2), said that “it is not practical to quantify” related financial effects (of India probes) “at this stage”.
“The management assessed the aforesaid matters related to Xiaomi India, taking into consideration opinions from professional advisors and concluded Xiaomi India has valid grounds to respond to the relevant Indian authorities,” the group said in its quarterly financial statement.
In April, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) had said they seized Rs 5,551.27 crore of Xiaomi India, lying in the bank accounts under the provisions of Foreign Exchange Management Act, in connection with the illegal outward remittances made by the company.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had informed the Rajya Sabha, in the recent Monsoon session, that five cases of customs duty evasion have been registered against Xiaomi India by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI).
The company said in its quarterly results that since December 2021, Xiaomi India has been involved in various investigations and notifications initiated by relevant Indian authorities including the Income Tax Department, the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence and the Directorate of Enforcement “in relation to compliance of relevant income tax regulations, custom duties regulations as well as foreign exchange regulations”.
Several Big Tech companies, unicorns and startups have laid off employees amid the global macro-economic conditions.
The court had given conditional stay on the order given by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on April 29 to seize Rs 5,513.3 crore…reports Asian Lite News
After the Enforcement Directorate (ED) seized nearly Rs 5,551.3 crore from Xiaomi India under Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) for illegal remittances to foreign entities, reliable sources said on Monday that about 84 per cent of the seized royalty remittances were made to US-based chip maker Qualcomm Group.
Sources close to the development told IANS that approximately Rs 4,663.1 crore were paid to Qualcomm via proper banking channels.
Xiaomi uses Qualcomm chipsets in the majority of its devices, and pays royalty to the US-based major for various licensed technologies that include standard essential patents and other intellectual property (IP), beyond just using its chipsets.
Any smartphone or other consumer electronics company that does not make royalty payments can be punished for patent infringement.
However, according to the ED, Xiaomi did not avail any such third-party services.
In a press release, the watchdog had said that “Xiaomi India has not availed any service from the three foreign-based entities to whom such amounts have been transferred”.
In a statement, Xiaomi India said it can’t comment as the matter is in the court.
“This matter is subjudice and under the consideration of the court of law. We refuse to comment on this,” the company told IANS.
Last week, in a major relief to Xiaomi India, the Karnataka High Court permitted it to take overdrafts from banks and make payments.
However, the court excluded the payment of technology royalty.
Vacation Judge Justice S. Sunil Dutt Yadav also extended the interim order till May 23 and stated that the matter is now between the banks and the petitioner company.
The court had given conditional stay on the order given by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on April 29 to seize Rs 5,513.3 crore.
The ED took the step after invoking the Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999.
Senior advocate S. Ganeshan argued that Xiaomi India was being targeted as it is a Chinese company and other companies are allowed to make payments of technology royalty.
Seeking clarification on the earlier interim order on May 5, he argued that banks are not allowing Xiaomi to make remittances in foreign exchange for imports following the court order.
He explained that the company is required to make payments for foreign companies in connection with manufacturing and marketing smartphones.
Xiaomi maintained that royalty payments made to three companies abroad would not violate the FEMA Act. The company further maintained that the I-T Department itself had allowed it as a value added activity.
The seized amount of Rs 5551.27 crore is lying in the bank accounts of Xiaomi Technology India Pvt Ltd, which started its operations in India in 2014 and started remitting the money in 2015, reports Asian Lite News
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has seized Rs 5551.27 crore of Xiaomi Technology India Pvt Ltd– a wholly-owned subsidiary of China-based Xiaomi group– under the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) in connection with illegal remittances made by the firm in February this year, the agency said on Saturday.
The seized amount of Rs 5551.27 crore is lying in the bank accounts of Xiaomi Technology India Pvt Ltd, which started its operations in India in 2014 and started remitting the money in 2015.
The Company has remitted foreign currency equivalent to Rs 5551.27 crore to three foreign-based entities which include one Xiaomi group entity in the guise of Royalty, said the ED.
“Such huge amounts in the name of Royalties were remitted on the instructions of their Chinese parent group entities. The amount remitted to other two US-based unrelated entities were also for the ultimate benefit of the Xiaomi group entities,” said the ED.
Xiaomi India is a trader and distributor of mobile phones in India under the brand name MI. Xiaomi India procures the completely manufactured mobile sets and other products from the manufacturers in India.
“Xiaomi India has not availed any service from the three foreign-based entities to whom such amounts have been transferred. Under the cover of various unrelated documentary facade created amongst the group entities, the company remitted this amount in the guise of royalty abroad which constitutes a violation of Section 4 of the FEMA,” said the federal agency.
ED further added that Xiaomi India also provided misleading information to the banks while remitting the money abroad. (ANI)
The South Korean tech giant moved ahead of China’s Xiaomi for the first time to take the runner-up spot with a market share of 11.8 percent…reports Asian Lite News
Samsung Electronics took over Chinese brand Xiaomi to become the world’s second-largest vendor of wearable devices in the first quarter of the year, a report has showed, on the back of its wireless earbuds sales.
The South Korean tech giant moved ahead of China’s Xiaomi for the first time to take the runner-up spot with a market share of 11.8 percent, which was up 0.6 percentage point from a year earlier, according to the latest report from market researcher International Data Corporation (IDC).
At third place, Xiaomi was the only company among the top five brands to suffer an on-year decline in its wearable devices sales.
Xiaomi’s market share dropped to 9.7 percent from 13.3 percent from a year ago after its wearable shipments slipped 1.8 percent on-year to 10.2 million units, Yonhap news agency reported, quoting from the report.
Samsung shipped 11.8 million units of wearable products in the January-March period, up 35.7 percent from a year earlier.
“Driving its volumes higher has been its truly wireless earbuds, including the Galaxy Buds Live, Galaxy Buds+ and the most recent addition, the Galaxy Buds Pro,” IDC said.
Samsung with 20 per cent market share was second, growing the highest at 52 per cent (YoY) while Vivo was third with 16 per cent share…reports Asian Lite News
Xiaomi once again led the India smartphone market with 26 per cent market share in Q1 2021, as total shipments grew 23 per cent (on-year) to reach over 38 million units in the January-March period, a new report said on Monday. The report cautioned that the second quarter is likely to be impacted owing to the lethal second Covid wave.
Samsung with 20 per cent market share was second, growing the highest at 52 per cent (YoY) while Vivo was third with 16 per cent share, according to the latest research from Counterpoint’s Market Monitor service.
realme was fourth with 11 per cent market share.
“Continuing with its stellar run, India’s smartphone market registered a third consecutive quarter of record shipments in Q1 2021, riding on pent-up demand. Consumer confidence also increased due to the beginning of a vaccination drive in the country,” said Senior Research Analyst Prachir Singh.
“But these numbers should be taken with caution as a second and more virulent wave of COVID-19 is currently on in the country and is likely to impact the coming quarters,” he cautioned.
The Chinese brands held a 75 per cent share in the March-ended quarter.