​Tata invests in Xiaomi's Indian business

Business tycoon Ratan Tata has become Xiaomi's first Indian investor, injecting an undisclosed amount into the Chinese company's Indian business.
Written by Aimee Chanthadavong, Contributor

Xiaomi has received a capital injection from business tycoon Ratan Tata, who is the company's first Indian investor.

The company announced on its Facebook page that Tata, chairman emeritus of Tata Sons, has invested an undisclosed amount into the Chinese company's Indian business.

Lei Jun, founder and CEO of Xiaomi, said that Tata's investment reaffirms the company's position in the market.

"Mr Tata is one of the most well-respected business leaders in the world. An investment by him is an affirmation of the strategy we have undertaken in India so far. This is just the start of an exciting journey, and we are looking forward to bringing more products into India," he said.

Xiaomi has attracted a lot of attention -- both positive and negative -- in the Indian market since it launched there during the second half of 2014.

Shortly after entering the Indian market, the company was forced by the Delhi High Court to stop selling its smartphone until early February, while a patent dispute with Ericsson was heard. The Swedish telecommunications firm had alleged that intellectual property was being unfairly used by Xiaomi without a licensing deal.

But despite the troubles, Lin reported in January that the company had already sold more than 1 million smartphones in the five months that the company had been operating in India.

Xiaomi's latest handset, the Mi 4i, is expected to be priced around $205 when it is released on April 30.

The Chinese company is also known for its unique online sales model, but it recently decided to ditch this approach in India by partnering up with India's largest telecom operator, Bharti Airtel, to sell its phones through Airtel's retail outlets.

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