Phone maker Xiaomi’s founder Lei Jun receives $1bn bonus

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The founder of Xiaomi has been given a “reward” worth almost $1billion by the Chinese smartphone-maker.

The payment was confirmed in the firm’s 2018 annual report.

The company had previously said it intended to make the share-based bonus to Lei Jun in recognition of his eight years of “devotion” to the company .

Lei in turn has promised to donate the sum to “charitable purposes” once taxes have been deducted from the compensation package.

He owns a 636.6 million shares worth 7.54bn Hong Kong dollars ($962.0m; £735.6m) based on their closing price on Tuesday after they rose 1% over the course of the day.

The amount is not far behind the 8.6bn yuan ($1.3bn; £980m) figure declared as Xiaomi’s adjusted net profit for the year.

The share transfer is in addition to other payments the company made to Lei including a salary and dividends, for which an exact sum was not given.

The payment follows the flotation of the company’s stock in Hong Kong in July.

Growing fast

Beijing-based phone maker Xiaomi was the world’s fourth biggest smartphone maker in 2018, according to the market research firm IDC , after Samsung, Apple and Huawei.

The number of handsets it shipped rose by 32.2% over the period at a time when the wider market contracted by 4.1%, said IDC.

Over the past month, the company has experienced problems with the launch of its latest flagship models – the Mi 9 series – which it failed to manufacture fast enough to meet with its customers high demand.

At one point Lei – who is Xiaomi’s president –
was reported to have declared he would “go to the factory and drive the screws in myself”, if matters did not improve.

Credit: John Joseph

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