• Xiaomi Corp co-founder Lei Jun

Xiaomi Corp co-founder Lei Jun (Photo : Getty Images News)

Chinese smartphone vendor Xiaomi Corp is stepping up expansion in India, with co-founder Lei Jun pledging another $500 million investment over the next three to five years.

A couple of years ago, Lei invested $500 million in India, globally the fastest growing smartphone market.

Lei noted that while they faced many challenges in India with many negative reports about them, the situation was "never as bad as it was made out to be." He added that the company has gotten back to "healthy growth" and will resume "rapid growth" in the next two years.

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Xiaomi 's revenue in India is expected to double this year to $2 billion.

Beyond hardware, Xiaomi gained $1 billion from India in revenue last year. The company has over 10 million users of its mobile apps and services.

Lei believes that India holds the key to rejuvenating Xiaomi, which once ruled in China before being eclipsed by local rivals.

Once compared with Apple, Xiaomi's global revenue could surpass $15 billion this year if the gamble on India pays off.

Xiaomi is among several Chinese smartphone makers that have outshone local vendors in India such as Micromax Informatics Ltd by selling devices that are cheap but dependable. It dominated online sales in India with phones below $150.

Valued at $45 billion in 2014, Xiaomi ranked behind Samsung Electronics Co in shipments to the Indian market last year.

Chinese brands, including Xiaomi, Huawei and Lenovo, captured 46 percent of the smartphone shipments to India in the fourth quarter last year, which was a 14 percent increase from the same period in 2015.

Xiaomi claims that its second manufacturing plant it built with Foxconn Technology Group in Andhra Pradesh can crank create one smartphone per second. It is set to make waves in the global smartphone market and poised to generate 20,000 jobs over the next three years.

Lei is already planning on putting up a third plant in India to satisfy the demand.