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Xiaomi Makes POCO an Independent Brand in India: Report

The company earlier said it believed in maintaining a proper balance for both offline and online

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Xiaomi
Xiaomi said it has also started exporting phones made in India to Bangladesh and Nepal. Wikimedia Commons

Chinese handset maker Xiaomi on Friday announced it was spinning off its aspirational premium sub-brand POCO as a standalone brand, which will now operate independently with its own team and go-to-market strategy in the country.

Started as a sub-brand of Xiaomi in 2018, POCO began operations in the country with a small team and launched its POCO F1 smartphone.

“What started as a sub-brand in POCO has grown into its own identity in a short span of time. POCO F1 is an extremely popular phone across user groups, and remains a top contender in its category even in 2020. We feel the time is right to let POCO operate on its own now. We will spin it off as an independent brand,” Manu Jain, Xiaomi Vice President and Xiaomi India Managing Director, said in a statement.

This comes a day after the smartphone player announced it was going big on its premium “Mi” line up in India this year and the portfolio will see a sustained set of launches through 2020.

Xiaomi, Foldable, Phone
According to the patent, Xiaomi’s foldable phone has an outward-folding screen and depending on how a user holds it, the five cameras can either be rear cameras or front-facing cameras, news portal GizmoChina reported. Wikimedia Commons

“These launches will be across categories which we think will help ‘Mi’ maintain consumer interest in 2020. We also intend to bring the premium smartphones from the Mi line-up, which has recorded a substantial interest since we entered the market,” Raghu Reddy, Head of Categories, Xiaomi India, had told IANS.

Notably, the premium “Mi” and budget “Redmi” are still sub brands of the handset maker in India.

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The company earlier said it believed in maintaining a proper balance for both offline and online.

“Both platforms online and offline are equally important for us and currently our online to offline ratio is 60:40. However, we aim to bring the same to 50:50 very soon in 2020,” Reddy said. (IANS)

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US Commission Urges India to Take Steps to Resolve Communal Riots in New Delhi

US Commission Demands India Act After Religious Riots

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New Delhi Riots
A resident look at burnt-out and damaged residential premises and shops following clashes between people supporting and opposing a contentious amendment to India's citizenship law, in New Delhi. VOA

A U.S. government commission on Wednesday faulted India’s response to deadly communal riots in New Delhi and urged the government to take swift action to protect the Muslim minority.

The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, which advises the U.S. government but does not set policy, voiced “grave concern” about the violence which broke out as President Donald Trump was visiting.

“One of the essential duties of any responsible government is to provide protection and physical security for its citizens, regardless of faith,” said chairman Tony Perkins, a conservative Christian close to the Trump administration. “We urge the Indian government to take serious efforts to protect Muslims and others targeted by mob violence,” he said in a statement.

Anurima Bhargava, a commissioner appointed by Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, voiced alarm at reports that Delhi police “have not intervened in violent attacks against Muslims.” “The brutal and unchecked violence growing across Delhi cannot continue,” she said. “The Indian government must take swift action to ensure the safety of all of its citizens.”

New Delhi Riots
Firefighters stand near a fire rescue vehicle as they douse burnt-out tyre market premises following clashes between people supporting and opposing a contentious amendment to India’s citizenship law, in New Delhi. VOA

The criticism stands in contrast to the reticence of elected U.S. leaders. Trump, asked at a news conference in Delhi about the violence, said the issue was “up to India” and praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “incredible” statements on religious freedom.

The clashes in Delhi, which have left at least 27 people dead, were triggered by protests against a citizenship law seen by critics as anti-Muslim and part of Modi’s Hindu nationalist agenda. Modi has called for calm, although witnesses said police did little to stop Hindu mobs.

His government has previously vowed to weed out “infiltrators” from India, with Home Minister Amit Shah likening undocumented immigrants to “termites. The government says the citizenship law does not target minorities but instead ensures protection for non-Muslims persecuted in neighboring countries.

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The Indian foreign ministry previously reprimanded the U.S. Commission for International Religious Freedom for denouncing the citizenship law. The commission also plans a public hearing next week on how citizenship laws, including in India and Myanmar, are used to target religious minorities. (VOA)