Manu Kumar Jain explains why Xiaomi serves ads on its phones, OS

Manu Kumar Jain said Xiaomi is looking to monetise its popular Mi Drop file sharing application in the future.

tech Updated: Nov 08, 2018 19:34 IST
Kul Bhushan
Kul Bhushan
Hindustan Times
Manu Kumar Jain,Xiaomi,Xiaomi Ads
Xiaomi says it will roll back ads if consumers find them intrusive.(Xiaomi )

Ads are going nowhere from Xiaomi phones. Xiaomi Global VP Manu Kumar Jain said that the company is looking at different ways to monetise its non-hardware business such as financing, advertising and content on TV. He added that Xiaomi will be open to rolling back ads if consumers find them intrusive.

In an interview to Tech2, Manu Kumar Jain pointed out that Xiaomi had pledged not to make more than 5% profit margin from phones.

“We make money from internet services like financing, advertising or content on TV. These are different ways in which we explore to make money. Now, ads are on apps... all the major applications make money from ads. This is how they monetise. We haven’t monetised a lot of our apps,” said Manu Kumar.

“For instance, Mi Drop which has more than 50 million downloads within six months through Google Play. But it is completely ad free. May be we will put ads at some point or think of different way to monetise Mi Drop. We do monetise Mi browser in a few different ways. Similarly, we figure out different ways to monetise our services,” he added.

On ads becoming intrusive on Xiaomi phones, Manu Kumar said, “On MIUI, which is also one of our internet services and whole operating system, we keep experimenting. We basically say, can we put ads some way which is non-intrusive? If you think it’s intrusive, of course, we will roll it back…. We have rolled out back some of those things. We have also given an option to consumers to switch it off in the settings.” ALSO READ: Xiaomi Mi Music, Mi Video services launched in India

“So, every time you want to see similar applications. For instance, someone has a folder group of food apps and you want to look at more food applications, we can give you the recommendations. Of course, we can monetise some of that. If you don’t want to see the recommendations, you can always switch it off yourself. Control is always in the hands of consumers. But, we also want to make some money from some of our internet products,” he explained.

Xiaomi had drawn flak for putting advertisements in its MIUI and even some of the system applications, like Settings. The company, however, gives users option to disable the advertisements from the operating system.

The company had then said it will continue to go ahead with advertisements.

“Advertising has been and will continue to be an integral part of Xiaomi’s Internet services, a key component of the company’s business model. At the same time, we will uphold user experience by offering options to turn off the ads and by constantly improving our approach towards advertising, including adjusting where and when ads appear. Our philosophy is that ads should be unobtrusive, and users always have the option of receiving fewer recommendations,” said a Xiaomi spokesperson after backlash on serving ads.

First Published: Nov 08, 2018 19:33 IST