No Xiaomi show at prestigious Mobile World Congress

New Delhi, Jan 30 (IANS) Hit by a high-profile exit amid falling numbers in China, Xiaomi — once touted as the Apple of China — will not showcase any product at the upcoming Mobile World Congress (MWC), the telecom industrys largest event in Barcelona, Spain next month.

First Hugo Barra, Xiaomi’s high-profile head of international operations, quit and announced joining Facebook to lead its virtual reality (VR) efforts last week and then came fresh figures from China for 2016 where the company slipped to fourth spot as the demand for its smartphones declined 22 per cent annually in the country.

According to a report in Tech Crunch, a company spokesperson has confirmed that Xiaomi will skip the MWC event entirely.

“The move is an unexpected one since it was widely assumed Xiaomi would attend. Barcelona-based Mobile World Congress is one of the largest events for the global mobile industry, attracting over 100,000 attendees, and it has a reputation as the place to show off the latest developments in mobile,” the report added.

There are reports that Xiaomi doesn’t have new devices to showcase during the MWC show.

Xiaomi used last year’s event to introduce Mi5, its flagship smartphone, through a press event that was live-streamed.

On its slump in the Chinese market, the key reason is Xiaomi’s rivals racing ahead with key features, innovation, bigger marketing budgets and wider online and offline distribution channel during the year, said the report by market analytics firm Counterpoint Research.

Huawei, Oppo and Vivo emerged as clear winners with Oppo and Vivo registering significant growth.

Hit by the Note 7 fiasco and a delay in Galaxy 8 launch, Samsung is another big player which will not roll out a new device at MWC.

–IANS

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