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INSIGHTS / MOVERS AND SHAKERS

How Xiaomi founder Lei Jun became a billionaire by pursuing passion, not fortune

China · Nov 27, 2018· By Hua Nan

From young man deconstructing and rebuilding smartphones at Kingsoft to top of the smartphone world as founder and chair of Xiaomi, Lei has always let his interests lead the way

Xiaomi founder Lei Jun prefers to fly economy. The watch he wears is worth just over RMB 1,000 (around US$150). Despite appearances, in the months since Xiaomi went public on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in July 2018, Lei’s net worth has reached US$11.5 billion, making him one of the richest people in China. Lei’s appreciation for saving money is not simply a lifestyle choice: it’s been one of the keys to his success.

A passion for mobile phones

Born on December 16, 1969, Lei majored in Computer Science at Wuhan University from 1987 to 1991. He finished all the required credits for a bachelor’s degree in just two years. Lei has maintained his work ethic all these years later: working 12–16 hours a day remains the norm.

Edited by Wendy Lovinger and Wang Xiao'e

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