A company that is not even a decade old has managed to become one of the best mobile phone makers in the world. This company is none other than the Chinese electronics company Xiaomi. It was founded in 2010 by Chinese billionaire entrepreneur, Lei Jun.
Jun was born on 16th December 1969. To mark his 49th birthday, this article is dedicated to him.
Lei Jun completed his graduation from Wuhan University with a BA Degree in Computer Science in 1987. He established his first company in his last year in college.
Lei Jun joined Kingsoft as an engineer in 1992. 6 years later, he was appointed as the CEO of the company. He led them to Stock Market Launch. Jun resigned as the President and the CEO of the company in 2007.
He founded Joyo.com, an online bookstore in 2000. Joyo was sold to Amazon in 2007 for $75 Million. Jun became a renowned angel investor in China. He still invests in several ventures such as social media, innovations, and technology. UCWeb appointed him as their chairman in 2008. Jun’s affair with Kingsoft was not over. He was reappointed as their chairman.
In 2010, Lei Jun founded a technology company that manufactures smartphones, mobile apps, and other consumer electronics named ‘Xiaomi’. The co-founders include Lin Bin, Vice President of Google China.
Within 4 years, the company raised more than $1 Billion and its value was estimated at $45 Billion. As of now, Xiaomi is the 4th most valued smartphone manufacturing company globally. It is the leading brand in two of the largest markets in the world, China and India.
Some interesting facts about Xiaomi
The name, ‘Xiaomi’ means Millet and Rice. It is in reference to the Buddhist concept which depicts a humble beginning of the company.
‘Mi’ is short form for ‘Mission Impossible’. No, it’s not from the movie, but the fact that nothing is impossible.
Mitu is the Mi Mascot. It is a bunny who wears a Ushanka (Lei Feng hat).
Xiaomi sells all its products online. This helps them eliminate the costs of a physical store to sell their devices. They only have headquaters in China and recently, in Beijing.
The most interesting part about Xiaomi is its logo. It has a deep, hidden meaning in it. When the logo is turned up-side-down, it will probably resemble a Chinese character “心” (not every single stroke though) and it means “heart” in English.
Lei Jun was named an honorary professor at Wuhan University, his alma mater, where there is also a scholarship in his name in 1998.
2003, he was named an honorary professor at the Zhengzhou Institute of Engineering.
He was selected by China Central Television as one of the top 10 business leaders of the year in 2013.
In 2013, he was named one of the 11 most powerful business people in Asia by Fortune, as well as the most notable entrepreneur by BAZAAR Men’s Style.[
Forbes Asia named him the Businessman Of The Year in 2014.