Chinese smartphone brand Xiaomi, Teach For India to provide mobile devices to disadvantaged communities – Times of India
New Delhi: Electronics company Xiaomi has partnered with non-profit Teach For India to provide mobile devices to 2,500 students from disadvantaged communities to advance their learning. The company will invest Rs 2 crore for the initiative.
“This lockdown has been very difficult for children. Schools have been shut and they have not been able to access quality education. Learning has moved online because of the lockdown imposed by the coronavirus. So, we partnered with TFI to identify vulnerable communities who do not have access to mobile phones so that their learning is not interrupted. This is just the beginning of our commitment to the country,” Xiaomi India COO Muralikrishnan told TOI over a video call.
The company also released a video announcing their new initiative. “We are truly committed to a young India, digital India,” Xiaomi India Managing Director (MD) Manu Kumar Jain said, adding that users can write to Xiaomi if they know of someone who needs a smartphone to access education, and the company would reach out to them.
Xiaomi, which has its headquarters in Beijing, had come under the scanner when the government banned over 100 Chinese apps in the country, citing “national security” amid escalating tensions in the Galwan Valley.
The list of banned apps included Mi Browser, Mi Browser Pro and Mi Community, which came pre-installed in the company’s phones operating system MIUI. But the company had announced that it would remove all banned apps from its phones, in compliance with the government’s ban.
“We are Indian in our soul and ethos. We will continue to invest in India to strengthen innovation, entrepreneurship and to provide jobs. So, far Xiaomi India has created jobs for at least 50,000 people, directly or indirectly,” said Muralikrishnan, even while admitting that the anti-Chinese sentiment needs to be accounted for.
He asserted that the company is committed to the Indian market. “We have been manufacturing our devices locally since 2015, much before Make In India became mainstream. Xiaomi will continue to manufacture products locally and our focus will always be to provide our customers with products that meet their criteria,” he added.
Jain had also taken to Twitter to announce that the company is working on a new Android-based operating system. “We are developing a new version of MIUI that will be built without pre-installation of any of the blocked apps,” he had tweeted on August 7.
He had also assured users that “since 2018, 100% of data from Indian users is stored on servers located in India and none of this data is shared by anyone outside of India.”