hugo-barraThe lure of China is undeniable – the sleeping dragon has long awakened and has flexed its muscles, and when China sneezes, the world catches the flu. In fact, we have seen many companies setting up their presence in China – after all, when you are the most populous nation in the world, that is the market that you ought to tap. We have seen soccer players make the lucrative jump to China as a marquee signing in the twilight of their careers just for a quick buck, and this time around, we hear Google’s top Android executive Hugo Barra leaving the Internet search giant to join forces with Chinese phone manufacturer Xiaomi.

How will this change the way Xiaomi works in the future remains to be seen, but we are quite sure that Barra’s wealth of experience and insight into the industry would make Xiaomi a company to watch out for in the near and immediate future. We do hope that this departure will not destabilize the Android universe, since it has proven to be one of Google’s more important projects in recent memory. Earlier this March, Andy Rubin stepped down from the Android department to “start a new chapter at Google.” Let us keep our fingers crossed that a suitable replacement for Barra has been found. In the mean time, you can read all that Barra has to say about his leaving of Google, or skip right after the jump to get the full skinny.

After nearly 5½ years at Google and almost 3 years as a member of the Android team — the most amazing group of people I’ve ever worked with in my life — I have decided to start a new career chapter.

In a few weeks, I’ll be joining the Xiaomi team in China to help them expand their incredible product portfolio and business globally — as Vice President, Xiaomi Global. I’m really looking forward to this new challenge, and am particularly excited about the opportunity to continue to help drive the Android ecosystem.

It has been an amazing ride and true honor to be part of the Android team at Google, and I especially want to thank Andy Rubin, Hiroshi Lockheimer, Sundar Pichai and Vic Gundotra for their phenomenal support and mentorship over the years.

Android team, I will truly miss you all!

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