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Apple Executive Takes a Shot at Xiaomi at Chinese Conference

Today a new report out of China states that top executives from Apple and Chinese smartphone upstart Xiaomi traded light-hearted barbs on Thursday at the World Internet Conference being held in Wuzhen China – acknowledging the fierce competition between the rivals.


Apple's iPhones and iPads are wildly popular in China, encouraging smuggling and crowds at the company's stores as consumers try to lay their hands on the latest products.


Yet Apple stood in sixth place in China's fractured smartphone market with only a 6.9% share in the March-June period according to consultancy Analysys International, while Xiaomi — which was only established four years ago — ranked second with 13.5%.


Bruce Sewell, Apple's general counsel and senior vice president of legal and government affairs, told a panel discussion at the World Internet Conference that there are "many good competitive phones in China" in a nod to Xiaomi founder Lei Jun, sitting alongside him.


But when asked about Lei's previous claims that Xiaomi will become the world's market leader in smartphones, he said: "It is easy to say, it is more difficult to do," to laughter and applause from the audience in Wuzhen.


Lei shot back: "In this magic land, we produced not only a company like Alibaba, but a small miracle like Xiaomi." Xiaomi phones use processors supporting Google's Android software and offer sleek designs which some say mimic Apple's top iPhone models.


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