Five years ago, Xiaomi didn’t exist. Today, the privately help tech firm is the number one smartphone manufacturer in China and is ranked third in the world behind heavyweights Apple and Samsung. Its founder and chairman Lei Jun was named “Businessman of the Year” 2014 by Forbes Asia and has recently received worldwide acclaim for his leadership style and business acumen. Lei Jun has been dubbed the ‘new Steve Jobs’ but the man who managed to rival Apple in just four short years deserves more credit than a copycat nickname. Manufacturing Global takes a look at this rising bright star and his path to success.
Who is Lei Jun?
- In 1987 Lei Jun graduated from Wuhan University with a Bachelor of Science in Engineering.
- Lei Jun founded Joyo.com in 2000, which was later acquired by Amazon in 2004.
- Before starting Xiaomi he was the CEO at Kingsoft for over 10 years and took it public in late 2007.
- Along with Alibaba Founder Jack Ma, Lei Jun is the face of China Inc.
- According to Forbes, Lei's net worth is estimated to be 8.8 billion US dollars.
- As well as being likened to Apple’s Steve Job, Lei Jun has also been compared to Ron Conway of Silicon Valley.
- When Lei Jun started Xiaomi, he already had one of the largest followings on Sina and Tencent Weibos because he was very willing to share advice on entrepreneurship and angel investing with his followers. This helped him to get the word out about the launch of Xiaomi phones and the MIUI operating system, and encouraged his fans to test his products and offer suggestions, which are then incorporated quickly into next versions.
- Lei Jun is a huge advocate of customer service and before starting Xiaomi studies lessons from Haidilao, a popular hotpot chain in China, and Wal-Mart, and was able to set high standards for his team to treat customers the right way.
- Lei Jun has been described as ‘the most successful angel investor in China to date’ – a coveted title indeed.
- He is a generous and methodical leader, and believes whole-heartedly in giving back to his employees, investors and business associates.
- Lei Jun believes that social networking, ecommerce and mobile Internet will be the three most impactful growth drivers over the next decade in tech.
- Jun is the recipient of many honors. He was awarded “Top 10 IT Figures” in 1999, 2000 and 2002. In 2005 he was chosen as the “Top 10 Figures of Gaming”. In 2012 he was selected by China Central Television as one of the Top 10 Business Leaders of the Year. He was also named one of the 11 Most Powerful Business people in Asia by Fortune in March 2013. In November 2013 he was awarded the Most Notable Entrepreneur by BAZAAR Men's Style and most recently took the title of “Businessman of the Year” 2014 by Forbes Asia.
- Lei Jun completed the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge after nominated by investor Yuri Milner. In return, Lei Jun nominated Hong Kong superstar Andy Lau, Foxconn Chairman Terry Gou and Baidu founder Robin Li.