Inside Xiaomi's plan to dominate the connected world

“We should launch the air purifier in India,” Hugo Barra quips absentmindedly as we sit in the eighth floor suite of the Sheraton hotel in New Delhi, overlooking the Qutub Minar. The 12th century monument is barely visible through Delhi’s infamous haze on this Friday afternoon. Delhi has some of the worst air quality in the world, often scoring worse than Beijing.

As we order coffee, I stare at the Xiaomi Mi 5 lying on the table, or whatever’s left of it after undergoing a trademark Barra teardown session. However, Xiaomi’s flagship device is not what we are talking about today.

Even as Barra and Xiaomi put their muscle behind ensuring the Mi 5’s success, there are nearly 200 employees working on the 11th floor of Xiaomi’s Beijing headquarters — and none of them are working on the…

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