• June Lei is the founder and CEO of Xiaomi
  • He sold to Amazon for $75 million
  • In 2014, Xiaomi surpassed Samsung as China's biggest smartphone vendor

Lei Jun’s net worth skyrocketed in August 2020, recording an additional $5 billion gain in just a week.

News of billionaires increasing their net worth during the pandemic is nothing new. Jeff Bezos saw his fortune multiply during COVID-19. Mark Zuckerberg’s net worth also increased by as much as $9.7 billion during the last week of August. Moreover, Tesla’s Elon Musk is also enjoying a resurgence in money rankings, with additional $6 billion to his name, thanks to Tesla shares upward trend, a report from Forbes revealed.

Among those worth mentioning who recorded notable gains in August were Asian entrepreneurs Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun and Haidilao International Holding Ltd founder Zhang Yong. NBA owners Dan Gilbert and Steve Ballmer, Walmart’s Jim and Alice Walton, Berkshire Hathaway’s Warren Buffett and SF Express’ Wang Wei completed the list.

The Xiaomi Mix 3 might launch in October. REUTERS/Bobby Yip

Lei Jun is a self-made billionaire who built his success on tech startups. He got his first taste of success when he sold to Amazon in 2004.

The Yuhan University graduate first worked for Kingsoft Corp. Under his leadership, the tech company expanded its offerings to video games and computer security software. He remains as one of the company’s investors. In 2010, Lei founded Xiaomi. After just four years, the company’s valuation hit $46 billion. In 2014, it surpassed rivals Samsung as the number one smartphone vendor in China.

He then expanded the mobile phone globally. Xiaomi has set up strategic branches in India in 2015, and it began offering fitness gadgets and computer accessories to the U.S. and Europe markets.

Aside from Xiaomi, Jun Lei also has made investments in MarketX, WITHWHEAT, Dongpin Zaixian, Yeahmobi, VANCL, GWC, Thunder Stone Technology and Koudai.

In May, the Xiaomi founder made headlines after posting on his social media account using an iPhone. The tweet has since been deleted but not without causing an uproar among Chinese netizens. However, Lei has not barred Xiaomi employees to use the phones of competitor brands, a report from Gizmo China revealed. Tech CEOs who are found using Apple’s iPhones are not new. RealMe CEO was also found to have used an iPhone as well as a former Meizu executive.

With $22 billion net worth, Jun Lei ranked 147th spot on Forbes billionaires 2020 list. He was 25th on 2019’s China Rich List.