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Xiaomi's Barra gets snared in border dispute with India map flub

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A Xiaomi Corp briefing to promote the smartphone maker's expansion in India sparked ire in China after Vice President Hugo Barra got entangled in a decades-old border dispute between the two countries.

[BEIJING] A Xiaomi Corp briefing to promote the smartphone maker's expansion in India sparked ire in China after Vice President Hugo Barra got entangled in a decades-old border dispute between the two countries.

The hiccup occurred Jan 28 when Mr Barra, who oversees global operations at the Beijing-based company, announced in New Delhi that Xiaomi would start selling smartphones in India via its own website by the end of the year.

An image projected behind him showed a map that included the disputed Aksai Chin border region as part of India, with the text "India is hugely important and we are here to stay."

Mr Barra posted a photo of the moment on his account with China's Weibo microblog service. He deleted the photo hours later, but not before Chinese Web users spotted it.

sentifi.com

Market voices on:

"Does Xiaomi want to sacrifice national interests to please foreign buyers?" one user wrote.

"The territory is part of China and anyone who loves China won't buy Xiaomi products anymore."

A Xiaomi spokeswoman declined to comment. The company ranks sixth globally among smartphone vendors.

China and India fought a border war in the early 1960's and tensions continue to simmer over the disputed area.

In 2012, The Economist said India censored a map featured in a 14-page special report because the image didn't accurately reflect the country's territorial claims.

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