Lei Jun of handset maker Xiaomi turned 46 yesterday. Here are 10 fun facts

Chinese sometimes refer to Lei Jun as the “Steve Jobs of China,” because of his dynamic personal leadership style and, perhaps oddly, his fashion sense. But like Apple, Xiaomi has a cult fan following and intense brand loyalty in China.
Lei Jun, founder and Chief Executive Officer of China's mobile company Xiaomi, shows Mi Notes at its launch in Beijing January 15, 2015. China's Xiaomi Inc staked its claim to Apple Inc's crown on Thursday as the world's third-biggest smartphone maker and most valuable tech start-up unveiled the flagship Mi Note, its challenger to Apple's iPhone 6 Plus. REUTERS/Jason Lee (CHINA - Tags: SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY BUSINESS TELECOMS) - RTR4LHWQ
Lei Jun, founder and Chief Executive Officer of China’s mobile company Xiaomi, shows Mi Notes at its launch in Beijing January 15, 2015. China’s Xiaomi Inc staked its claim to Apple Inc’s crown on Thursday as the world’s third-biggest smartphone maker and most valuable tech start-up unveiled the flagship Mi Note, its challenger to Apple’s iPhone 6 Plus.

Lei Jun celebrated his birthday on Dec. 16. He turned 46.

Lei Jun and De Liu created Xiaomi in April 2010, but in just five years their little startup has transformed into a $46 billion smartphone and electronics appliance juggernaut.

Xiaomi is vying for supremacy in its home turf with compatriots Huawei and Lenovo, not to mention global super players Samsung Electronics and Apple. In China it is the second largest smartphone maker after Huawei and, on the world stage, it is ranked No. 5 after Samsung and Apple, and then Huawei and Lenovo, depending on how you parse market share.

Chinese sometimes refer to Lei Jun as the “Steve Jobs of China,” because of his dynamic personal leadership style and, perhaps oddly, his fashion sense. But like Apple, Xiaomi has a cult fan following and intense brand loyalty in China. Here are 9 fun facts about one of China’s tech super-heroes:

  1. Jun founded his first business in 2000, Joyo.com, an online bookstore, which he sold to Amazon.com for over $75 million in 2004. He’s got the Midas touch!
  2. Jun graduated with a bachelor’s degree in engineering from Wuhan University in 1987. But Steve Jobs never graduated from college.
  3. Before Xiaomi, he was CEO of King Soft, now China’s largest office suite developer, for 10 years. He is still chair of King Soft. Busy bee!
  4. While China is not well known for customer service, it is said that Jun took it so seriously that he studied Chinese hotpot chain Haidilao and famed US retailer Wal-mart.
  5. Since Xiaomi is reknown for its savvy marketing, it is no wonder that Jun is said to believe social networking, mobile and e-commerse are the future. That sounds like Steve Jobs, too!
  6. Jun famously accepted investor Yuri Milner’s ALS ice bucket challenge. But Jun then one upped Milner by calling out Hong Kong superstar Andy Lau, Foxconn Chairman Terry Gau and Baidu founder Robin Li. What a nice guy!
  7. Jun could very well be one of the most prolific angel investors in China. He has invested in over 20 startups, including Yu Jin Hui’s cosmetic venture group. Cunning business smarts.
  8. Big shot Jun is ranked at No. 4 on China’s Rich People’s list and No. 16 on a list of the richest people in tech, according to a Forbes ranking of Chinese business notables.
  9. Jun has been valued at a personal net worth of over $13 billion. That’s a lot.
  10. Brainy Lei Jun’s childhood hobby was building home radios. What a nerd!

 

 

 

 

LG hopes dual display v10 will win back smartphone buyers

LG Electronics on Thursday launched a new smartphone packing two screens at simultaneous events in Seoul and New York City, which the company hopes will help bolster struggling sales of flagship phones and beat back increased competition from China.

The LG V10 smartphone features an extra ticker-tape style screen above the main 5.7-inch display that can be used for notifications, as well as in multitasking. The second “always-on” screen displays battery level, the weather and time and date _ as well as a slew of little extras , such as emails, texts, missed calls and app activity _ even when the main screen is off.

LG has big plans for the V10, ostensibly the first in a range of V phones from the company as it seeks to boost sales in a difficult market.

But the reaction of analysts in South Korea was cool describing the new features as gimmicky and dismissing the new camera and other features as neat but not be enough to re-position the LG brand from a “a grey part,” an area between premium smartphones and Chinese budget handsets.

“They are focusing on the camera function, right. I don’t think it will impact the market,” said Joo Yong-dong, IT analyst with Hyundai Securities. “And LG Electronics is positioned in a grey part. The premium phone market is dominated by companies like Samsung and, especially Apple. The low end is dominated by many Chinese phones like Huawei and Xiaomi. They are taking market share from LG Electronics especially among low and mid-ranged smartphones. I think LG smartphone business does not look bright.”

LG’s V10 smartphone features premium materials including a stainless steel FRAME and silicone cover while internally it mimics the company’s G4 smartphone that was launched earlier in the year.

LG sales of the G4 were hammered in the first half of this year as compared to its predecessor phone, the G3, according to figure provided by KDB Daewoo Securities.

Sales of the G3 in the 12 month period from its release in June 2014 to May 2015 was about 13.5 million units, and 4.6 million units in the first four months. However, LG sold only 2.1 million G4s from April to July, less than half of how the G3 sold.

However, as the company declined to release official sales results, those numbers are unconfirmed. That said, operating profits from its mobile communications business, which includes LG smartphones, dropped 99.7 percent year-on-year to 200 million won ($166,666).

For any indication that LG is desperately looking to turn things around in Q4 the new v10 one has to look no further that the company’s stock price. LG Electronics stock dropped below the psychologically important level of 50,000 won per share on June 24, and remained there ever since. LG stock has not been that low in more than 10 years.