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Xiaomi moves user data services as part of its global expansion plans

Xiaomi's Hugo Barra has announced that the company is moving user data and services to new servers over multiple sites, in order to improve user access speeds and combat fears over privacy.
October 22, 2014
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Xiaomi is a company with big ambitions. It was only founded in 2010 but has already managed to become a hugely relevant player in the global smartphone industry. It is now the largest smartphone company in China and is looking to expand its business outside of Asia. The first step on this journey has begun, as Xiaomi is migrating international user data outside of China.

The reason for moving data centers for its MIUI software is twofold. Firstly, the company aims to improve customer experiences by setting up data centers closer to its customers, thereby improving the speed in which they can access Xiaomi’s services.

This is particularly important for Xiaomi as its business model relies on customers using its services, the revenue from which is used to keep the upfront costs of its smartphone very low.

“With this migration, we are expecting to cut network request latency for users in India by up to 350ms, and users in Malaysia to experience 2-3x faster Mi Cloud photosync,” Xiaomi VP Hugo Barra

Furthermore, placing international user data outside of China, Chinese based Xiaomi customers will stick with the current service, should help quell concerns over privacy and unsanctioned data sharing. Earlier in the year Xiaomi was caught sharing data with a server in China without consent and subsequently offered customers a way to opt out. Moving its data centers abroad should help distance itself from accusations of working with China’s government to siphon data.

“moving to a multi-site server … better equips us to maintain high privacy standards and comply with local data protection regulations.”

International MIUI services will be housed in Amazon AWS data centers in Oregon USA and Singapore, and the company will be working with local providers in other regions to ensure faster connections.

Xiaomi is set to expand its business to several new markets over the coming years, and seems to be particularly interested in fast growing markets like Brazil and India. Given how much of an impact the company is already having on the industry, competition in the smartphone market will only intensify as Xiaomi moves forward with its plans.