India’s Ratan Tata buys stake in Chinese phone maker Xiaomi

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(Reuters) – Ratan Tata, emeritus of holding company of India’s Tata conglomerate, has acquired a stake in Xiaomi Technology [XTC.UL], a deal is likely to bolster Chinese phone maker’s presence in world’s third-largest smartphone market.

Financial details of unspecified stake bought by Tata in Xiaomi, first by an Indian, were not disclosed in issued by the Chinese company Sunday.

Xiaomi, the No. 3 smartphone maker, was valued at $45 billion after a December funding round.

Tata, a respected business who was the of salt-to-software Tata Sons for than two decades, has previously invested in Indian start-ups, including online retailer Snapdeal.

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Tata’a investment in Xiaomi comes against the backdrop of an aggressive push by Xiaomi in India after entering the market, which has huge growth with just one in 10 people using smartphones, in July 2014.

Thursday, Xiaomi hosted its first outside of China in the Indian capital New Delhi, unveiling its feature-heavy Mi 4i model supports six Indian languages at 12,999 rupees ($205).

Xiaomi and other Chinese smartphone makers are drafting in cricket teams and Bollywood stars to conquer India, their largest overseas market and a key testing ground for their international expansion.

“Mr. Tata is one of the most well-respected business in the world. An investment by him is an affirmation of the strategy we have undertaken in India so far,” Lei Jun, founder and chief officer of Xiaomi said in the .

“We are looking forward to bringing into India,” he said.

(Reporting by Neha Dasgupta; Writing by Sumeet Chatterjee; Editing by Clara Ferreira-Marques and William Hardy)