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Who’s Xiaomi CEO?

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Xiaomi has become one of the most known and successful companies in the world in the past years. This Chinese company was founded in 2010 and from there on it took the electronic market by storm. But who is the mastermind behind this? Who is the brain that managed to reach this kind of heights starting nearly from zero? His name is Lei Jun. Let’s find more about him below.

Early Life

          The year is 1969, when on a cold day of December 16, Lei Jun was born. This little child from the city of Xiantao, Hubei province, showed from an early age attachment with technology. He was very fond of computers, thinking of them every day. As life in 1980s rural China was not easy, his family couldn’t afford granting his beloved technological wishes. But this did not deter Lei Jun, not even a little. Soon he came up with ways to twiddle with all that was tech related.

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            The passion for technology that drove him pushed him to do extreme things in order to get close to it. One episode he remembers is when he stood for hours outside the school’s computer laboratory, just to sneak on when some of the classmates would miss their turn. He even took many programming jobs, leading him into working for 72 hours straight, without any break. As he remembered all those days he spent secretly typing at a drawn keyboard on a piece of paper just so he could practice for when he had a real computer.

University and Kingsoft

            As he grew up having a brilliant mind, it was only natural that he would follow the path of the university. After he finished the Mianyang Middle School he attended Wuhan University, which he graduated in 1991 after just two years. Having now a bachelor’s degree in computer science he joined Kingsoft Corporation. This software company based in Beijing was struggling at that time. Lei saw an opportunity in this, quickly climbing the ranks of the company, until he became CEO. He then managed to save this company from bankruptcy by focusing on products that included computer security and video games too. Previously the company focused only on word-processing programs.

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            In the 2000s, he created an online library, Joyo which was sold 4 years later to Amazon, granting him over 75 million USD. He even became an important investor on the chinese market, investing in more than 20 technology companies.

Xiaomi: 2010 and beyond

            Xiaomi Corp was founded in April 2010, together with several partners, including Lin Bin, a former Google executive. Although the company produced various electronic products, its main focus was smartphones. Having a sleek design, the smartphones earned the company the Apple of the East nickname. Xiaomi concentrates more on online selling rather than the usual brick-and-mortar sales. Social media plays an important role in the company’s advertising plan. Xiaomi rose as being the 3rd smartphone selling company in the world, just shy of Apple and Samsung. With products that cost just a fraction or equivalent of the first two ones, it is no wonder that Xiaomi found such popularity among the masses.

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            Willing to expand more and more, Lei has looked for new opportunities to reach outside China. The company began, in July 2014, selling products in India, the company’s “most important market after China”. In 2015 the time has come for the United States and Europe to be targeted by Xiaomi. Although it initially only offered fitness devices and computer accessories it soon started selling smartphones too. All these impressive feats made Lei Jun be known as China’s Steve Jobs.

Honours and Personal Life

          Over the years he received a series of awards for his entrepreneurial and business career: In 1998 he was named an honorary professor at Wuhan University, in 2003 he was named honorary professor at Zhengzhou Institute of Technology. Starting from 2013 he was included in Forbes Top 11 most powerful businessmen from Asia, and in 2014 he was named the Businessman of the year in the same magazine. He is married to Zhang Tong and they have together two children.


            Whatever if you are using an Xiaomi smartphone for its design or for its affordability. Or you just like playing different kinds of games on it. Being MOBAs, Casual or Diamond Cash Slots games like I do, you will now know your smartphone history, and the man behind it.

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James Musoba
James Musoba
Studying Africa's startup and technology scene. I always look forward to discovering new exciting inventions and vibrant entrepreneurs.

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