Xiaomi billionaire gifts record RM854.70mil to China university


Xiaomi’s Lei gifted the school 1.3bil yuan (RM854.70mil or US$182mil), the biggest ever cash donation to a Chinese university from an alumnus, according to the institution’s official Weibo account. — Reuters

Lei Jun, the billionaire co-founder of Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi Corp, made a record cash donation to his alma mater, Wuhan University, adding to a surge in pledges by the nation’s richest.

Lei gifted the school 1.3bil yuan (RM854.70mil or US$182mil), the biggest ever cash donation to a Chinese university from an alumnus, according to the institution’s official Weibo account. The money will help support computer science innovations, students’ development and research on six fundamental disciplines, it said in a separate post.

Donations from rich Chinese have soared in recent years as President Xi Jinping pushes to close the wealth gap with his “common prosperity” campaign. In July 2021, Lei transferred US$2.2bil (RM10.23bil) worth of Xiaomi shares to the Xiaomi Foundation and the Lei Jun Foundation.

Lei, 53, graduated from Wuhan University in 1991 with a bachelor’s degree in computer science before starting his tech career. He landed a job at Chinese software maker Kingsoft Corp and by 1998 was its chief executive officer. He then co-founded an online retailer that he sold to Amazon.com Inc in 2004. Xiaomi started in 2010.

Lei is now worth US$14.3bil (RM66.53bil), based on his stakes in tech firms including Xiaomi and Kingsoft, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

Last week, Xiaomi reported its first revenue gain in almost two years as it expands aggressively into higher-end models at home and abroad.

Xiaomi didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. – Bloomberg

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