The Brazilian who wants China to go west

Hugo Barra says Latin America presents a big opportunity

Brazilians, like the rest of us, are used to buying products made in China.

But in Sao Paulo’s Santa Ifigenia neighbourhood – the city’s main market for electronic devices – consumers are not kind to Chinese brands.

“The first thing that comes to my mind when you say Chinese is an inferior product, probably contraband. I would avoid them,” one shopper tells me.

There is even a pejorative term for Chinese brands that try to rival or imitate other established brands: “Xing Ling”.

Yet this is the market chosen by China’s Xiaomi to start selling its smartphone outside Asia.

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