Happy Birthday Lei Jun: The Steve Jobs Of China Who Dethroned Apple!

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Dedication combined with honest and wise efforts can result in miracles; Lei jun is one such example. Lei Jun is the co-founder of Xiaomi, a twelve-year-old tech company that was founded in April 6th 2010. Under the leadership of Lei Jun, Xiaomi became the world’s most valued tech startup within a short span of time. In fact, the company has been challenging the domination of some of the top smartphone giants for the last few years.

Finally, on July 9, 2018, Xiaomi went public on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, making the biggest tech IPO in around four years. With $50 billion valuation, Xiaomi has become the world’s third most valuable publicly traded smartphone manufacturer, following heavyweights Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd. (KRX:005930).

Lei Jun is widely known as the ‘Steve Jobs of China’ due to his charismatic personality and dressing sense alike Steve jobs. He also enjoys a cult fan base akin Steve Jobs. The secret sauce of his success in his own words is ‘seizing the right opportunity’.

Date of Birth: December 16, 1969.

Net worth: 9.4 billion USD (16 December 2022)

“The competition might be too bloody, too bitter for others. For me, it had better get bloodier” – Lei Jun

On Lei Jun’s 53rd birthday today, we have brought a few interesting, yet less known, facts about him:

  • On July 1, 1991, Lei Jun received a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from Wuhan University, China.
  • During his childhood, Lei Jun had developed a keen interest in electronics. While growing up, he used to assemble radios as a hobby.
  • Xiaomi is not Lei Jun’s debuted venture. In the final year of college, he started his first company named Gundugoms. In 2000, he established another company named JOYO.com. This was an online bookstore in China. Surprisingly, the company was sold to Amazon.com for $75 million in within four year of launch.
  • In 1992, Lei Jun joined Kingsoft Corporation. He has held a number of senior positions at Kingsoft, including as the Chairman of the Board since July 2011, Non-Executive Director since August 2008 and the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) between 1998 and December 2007.
  • He is also been compared to Ron Conway the famous ‘American Angel Investor’.
  • Lei Jun takes customer satisfaction as the utmost priority; before starting Xiaomi he studied 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.
  • He believes that social networking, e-commerce and mobile Internet will be the driving forces in the coming decade.
  • Are you OK”, a video mimicking his first debut English speech at an event in New Delhi, India got viral on the internet. However, showing his sportsmanship he later accepted the flaw in his English and promised to improve it.
  • Investor Yuri Milner nominated Lei Jun for ALS ice bucket challenge which he obliged. In turn, Lei Jun nominated Hong Kong superstar Andy Lau, Foxconn Chairman Terry Gau and Baidu founder Robin Li.
  • He is described as the most successful angel investor in China to date’. He has invested in around 20 startups including Yu Jin Hui- a cosmetic startup.
  • In the year 2012, he was selected by China Central television (CCTV) as one of the top 10 Business Leaders of the year. In the following year, he was awarded the ‘Most Notable Entrepreneurs’ by BAZAAR Men’s Style Magazine.
  • In 2013, he was named as one of the most powerful Business personalities in Asia by Fortune Magazine.
  • According to Forbes, Lei Jun ranked 37 on the list of China’s 100 Richest 2022, 163 on the world’s Billionaires 2022, and 36 on the Richest People in Tech 2017.

“Even a pig can fly, if it stands at the centre of whirlwind”, is what Lei Jun believes in.”

The post is a part of a B’day Series where we celebrate the birthday of renowned personalities from Tech Industry, very frequently. The series includes Entrepreneurs, C-level Executives, innovators or a renewed leaders who moved the industry with his exponential skill set and vision. The intent is to highlight the person’s achievements and touch base the little known, but interesting, part of his life. You can see the list of all earlier celebrated tech personalities, including Mark Zuckerberg, Marissa Mayor, Sean Parker, Andy Rubin, Julian Assange, Sir Richard Branson, Sergey Brin by following this link or subscribe to your daily newsletter.


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