China's Xiaomi loses a top exec

Hugo Barra, a VP at the Chinese mobile device maker, announced on Sunday he'll be leaving the company next month and moving back to Silicon Valley after 3.5 years. Hiring him away from Google was considered a big get for Xioami at the time.

Why now? Barra says in a Facebook post that his lifestyle at Xiaomi has started to take a toll on him and his health. At the same time, he says Xiaomi has grown enough that it can continue to thrive without him. After some time off, he'll be "embarking on a new adventure back in Silicon Valley."

What about Xiaomi? Barra's departure undoubtedly raises questions about Xiaomi's health.

  • Earlier this month, the company declined for the first time to release sale numbers, with CEO Lei Jung admitting the company grew too fast.
  • Xiaomi's meteoric rise made it one of the most valuable private companies in the world, but whether it can continue to justify remains to be seen.
  • The company has yet to make a meaningful dent in the U.S. market.
Samsung's Note 7 investigation

Samsung officially concludes that the faulty and exploding batteries in its Note 7 smartphones were due to flaws in the design and manufacturing of the batteries

The details: Specifically, Samsung blames a design flaw in the batteries from one its manufacturers, which caused short circuits. Its other manufacturer—which supplied the replacement batteries—had a welding defect that could lead to fires.

Next steps: Nevertheless, Samsung takes full responsibility and has devised a new 8-point testing plan for all lithium ion batteries in its devices.

Go deeper

Court battles shift mail-in voting deadlines in battleground states

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Michigan joins Pennsylvania in extending mail-in ballot deadlines by several days after the election, due to the coronavirus pandemic and expected delays in U.S. Postal Service.

The latest: Michigan Court of Claims Judge Cynthia Stephens ruled that all ballots postmarked before Nov. 2 must be counted, so long as they arrive in the mail before election results are certified. Michigan will certify its general election results on Nov. 23.

Ina Fried, author of Login
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CEO John Riccitiello virtually ringing the NYSE bell as Unity shares began trading on Friday. PhotoL Unity

Unity Technologies was just one of many companies with blockbuster IPOs this week, but it took a decidedly different approach, using data rather than handshakes to decide who got to invest and at what price. CEO John Riccitiello explained why in an interview with Axios.

Why it matters: Traditionally, bankers and companies set IPO prices based on conversations and expectations, a process that has been criticized as basically leaving money on the table.

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Taylor Lorenz on Trump's threat to ban TikTok

President Trump has 48 hours left to either follow through on his threatened ban of TikTok, or accept a proposed tech partnership with Oracle.

Axios Re:Cap digs into how the TikTok user community has reacted to this political drama, and what comes next, with New York Times tech reporter Taylor Lorenz.