Xiaomi dismisses the head of its African arm for indecency

China’s smartphone giant Xiaomi has dismissed the head of its Africa division, Wang Lingming for violating a Chinese law pertaining to indecent public behaviour. This was made known by the Human Resources Department of Xiaomi Group in an email issued to the members of the International Department of the company.

According to Article 44 of the law of the People’s Republic of China on Penalties for Administration of Public Security, a person who molests another person or intentionally exposes his/her body in a public place, if the circumstances are abominable, shall be detained for not less than 5 days but not more than 10 days; if a person molests a mentally disabled person, or a person suffering mental disorder, or a person who has not attained to the age of 14, or commits such act with other serious circumstances, he shall be detained for not less than 10 days but not more than 15 days.

China began its crackdown on vulgarity and indecency in 2010. 

Wang has barely been the head of Xiaomi’s African division as he was appointed in January. Xiaomi plans to establish offices in Africa to expand its business in the continent.

The smartphone manufacturer is the world’s fourth-largest smartphone vendor and has been expanding more on the foreign market rather than the congested Chinese smartphone market. The company has also been the top smartphone brand for five consecutive quarters in India, according to International Data Corp’s (IDC) Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker report for the third quarter of 2018.

The handset company aims to have a bigger influence in Africa, with a
partnership with e-commerce platform Jumia to distribute its phones in Africa. The continent has over 1.2 billion people but the smartphone usage is not as high as other markets, with many preferring to stick with feature phones. Due to cultural and economic differences, most domestic mobile phone manufacturers have not developed well in Africa but Xiami hopes to be different.