One of the tycoons from China, namely the CEO of Xiaomi, can also be called Steve Jobs from China. After Samsung and Apple, Xiaomi occupies the 3rd position in the world smartphone market.
The figure behind Xiaomi’s fame, namely founder and CEO Lei Jun. According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Thursday (22/4/2021), Lei Jun is in the 63rd position of the most rich people in the world with a wealth of US $ 25.7 billion.
Beijing-based Xiaomi grossed 206 billion yuan (US $ 29.8 billion) in 2019 from its line of smartphones, software applications and consumer electronics. Before founding Xiaomi, Lei was the CEO of software developer Kingsoft.
Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun
Born on December 16, 1969 in Hubei Province, China, Lei graduated from Wuhan University with a degree in computer science in 1991. In 1992 he joined Beijing-based software company Kingsoft Corp., and in 1998 he became Its CEO.
He helped transform Kingsoft from a struggling company focused on word processing programs into a financially stable company with products that also included video games and computer security software.
In 2007 he led Kingsoft’s initial public offering (IPO) which raised nearly US $ 100 million when the company was listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. He left Kingsoft shortly after the IPO, although later rejoined the board of directors, and over the next several years led venture capital.
In April 2010 Lei founded Xiaomi Corp. with several partners, including former Google executive Lin Bin. While the company sells a variety of electronic devices, its main focus is on smartphones. By concentrating on online sales rather than physical sales and by avoiding expensive advertisements to interact with customers directly via social media, Xiaomi was able to sell at lower prices than its competitors and thrive in the Chinese market.
In 2014, the company’s valuation was over US $ 46 billion and has made it the most valuable technology startup in the world. In April of that year, Xiaomi demonstrated the power of its brand by selling 2.1 million smartphones online in just 12 hours, setting the world record for the most phones sold on a single online platform in a single day. Then, at the end of 2014 Xiaomi has surpassed Samsung to become the leading smartphone vendor in China.
Xiaomi Starts Exploring Abroad
In an effort to continue Xiaomi’s growth, Lei is increasingly looking for opportunities to expand outside of China. July 2014, the company started selling smartphones in India, which Lei described as the most important market after China. Then, in May 2015 Xiaomi launched an online marketplace for customers in the United States and Europe. Although at first it only offered computer accessories and fitness devices rather than smartphones.
Through Lei’s direction, Xiaomi became the world’s third largest smartphone manufacturer. Namely behind Samsung Electronics and Apple Inc. in 2014.
Steve Jobs from China in 2018 oversaw the company’s IPO. Which raised about US $ 3 billion when listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.
Late last month, Lei revealed Xiaomi’s plans to enter the electric car market by investing around US $ 10 billion over the next decade. The move follows the efforts of competitor Apple, which has initiated similar plans.
“We have a lot of funds for this project. I am fully aware of the risks of the car manufacturing industry. I am also aware that this project will take at least three to five years with an investment of tens of billions,” said Lei.