Lei Jun is a name that continues to make waves in the world of tech entrepreneurship. As the co-founder of one of the world’s most dominant tech powerhouses, Xiaomi Inc., Jun has built an impressive profile worth scrutinizing. However, outside of his major achievements, there remains a trove of interesting facts that further cement his position as a figure to watch.

1. He Works for ‘Zero’ Salary

The first of the ten things you might not know about Lei Jun is his work ethic and commitment to Xiaomi. Despite being the CEO of one of China’s biggest tech companies, he does not take a salary. In 2018, he was awarded $1.5 billion in bonus, which he later donated to charity. Lei Jun believes that his wealth should not come from salaries and bonuses but from the equity and valuation of Xiaomi.

This is a perfect representation of Lei Jun’s commitment to his own company. Instead of looking at short-term profits through salary and bonuses, he is focusing on the long-term success and growth of Xiaomi. This shows his dedication and faith in his own company.

2. He is Known as the ‘Steve Jobs of China’

While comparisons between Lei Jun and Steve Jobs are consistently brought up, they highlight an important aspect of his career. Just like Jobs, Jun has a knack for turning startup companies into global powerhouses. This is clearly seen in the success story of Xiaomi, which he co-founded in 2010, and now, it’s one of the world’s leading smartphone makers.

Additionally, Jun also mirrors Jobs in his presentation style. He is known for wearing blue jeans, white shirts, and black coats during product launches, much like the Apple founder. His remarkable ability to sell his vision during these launches seals the comparison.

3. He is an Avid Reader

Lei Jun is an individual who values knowledge and personal growth. He is known for having a reading habit, consuming up to one book weekly. Jun believes that books are integral to broadening one’s knowledge and understanding of the world. He also encourages his employees to read regularly.

Interestingly, he has publicly shared his list of recommended books that includes titles discussing global economic issues, corporate strategy, and entrepreneurial tales. This paints a picture of Lei Jun as an individual continuously seeking knowledge and growth.

4. He is a Serial Entrepreneur

Before he found immense success with Xiaomi, Jun founded several other companies. In 2000, Lei Jun founded Joyo.com, an online bookstore which was eventually sold to Amazon. He also co-founded YY, a popular live-streaming service in China. His entrepreneurial acumen has consistently shone through the diverse projects he’s embarked on.

Namely, he has also made a significant mark as an angel investor for various start-ups, indicating his interest in supporting innovative ventures. Each enterprise under his belt demonstrates a sharp eye for business, a commitment to innovation, and the willingness to take risks.

5. His Wealth Extends Beyond Xiaomi

While Xiaomi has certainly contributed to Lei Jun’s staggering wealth, it’s not his only source of income. As an early investor in several successful companies, including UCWeb, Lakala, and Vancl, Lei Jun has managed to augment his wealth significantly.

This kind of investment’s success indicates Lei Jun’s broad understanding of the business landscape and his ability to predict which companies have potential for growth. His investment strategy, combined with his leadership at Xiaomi, underscores his sharp business acumen.

6. He is Committed to Philanthropy

Like many globally recognized entrepreneurs, Lei Jun is also dedicated to philanthropy. Notably, after receiving a huge bonus from Xiaomi in 2018, he donated the entire sum for charitable purposes. His commitment to giving back is evident as he continually contributes to education and social causes in China.

Lei’s philanthropic efforts display his belief that wealth should serve the broader society. This shows that beyond his business success, Lei is equally passionate about creating positive change and giving back to his community.

7. He Does Not Believe in Traditional Advertising

Lei Jun has a different perspective when it comes to advertising. He does not believe in traditional ways of advertising and instead believes that the best way to promote products is through consumer satisfaction and word-of-mouth. He argues that this saves advertising costs and allows the company to invest more in product development.

Indeed, Xiaomi hardly spends money on traditional advertising. Instead, it focuses on social media and consumer involvement in its marketing strategy. This approach has worked well for Xiaomi, as it has built a strong and loyal customer base worldwide.

8. He Revolutionary Idea in the Smartphone Industry

Lei Jun’s approach to selling smartphones challenged the industry norms. He introduced the concept of selling smartphones at breakeven cost and making profits through services and software. This helped Xiaomi in pricing their smartphones competitively without compromising on the quality aspect.

This revolutionary idea worked like a charm and propelled Xiaomi to be one of the leading smartphone manufacturers in the world. It also forced other smartphone companies to rethink their pricing and profit strategy, thereby initiating a significant change in the industry.

9. He Was Bookish and Shy as a Kid

Lei Jun has often been referred to as introverted and shy, even during his younger days. He was focused on his studies and books were his best friends. Despite his reserved personality, Jun maintained very high standards for himself. It was his determination and dedication towards his work that led him to achieve great successes in life.

His seemingly ordinary early life conveys a powerful message – that irrespective of one’s personality type, determination and hard work can lead to extraordinary achievements.

10. He Sees Himself More as an Internet Than a Hardware Entrepreneur

Despite Xiaomi’s success in the smartphone industry, Lei Jun does not see himself as a hardware entrepreneur. Instead, he argues that he is an internet entrepreneur as most of his previous businesses were internet-based. Even with Xiaomi, he believes that the core value of the company lies more in its software and services than in hardware.

This perspective shows his understanding of the tech world and his capacity to reflect on and embrace the various elements of his vast business ventures. It also suggests his adaptability and recognition of the significance of software and internet services in shaping the future of technology.

Hopefully, these pieces of trivia shed some new light on the personality and work ethic of Lei Jun. His journey from humble beginnings to becoming the Steve Jobs of China offers a fascinating study of hard work, persistence, and an unflinching commitment to innovation.

For more information about Lei Jun and Xiaomi, you can visit the following websites:

Xiaomi Global

Lei Jun – Forbes