Xiaomi Corp founder gives record-breaking donation to Wuhan University

By Liu Kun in Wuhan and Zhang Xiaomin | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2023-11-29 20:08
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This photo taken on Nov 29, 2023, shows a donation ceremony held at Wuhan University. [Photo by Cao Haigang/For chinadaily.com.cn]

Lei Jun, founder, chairman, and CEO of Chinese technology company Xiaomi Corp, donated 1.3 billion yuan ($182.59 million) to Wuhan University, his alma mater, on Wednesday. He made the donation as the university celebrated its 130th anniversary in Wuhan, Hubei province.

Lei said the donation primarily focuses on supporting basic research in mathematics, physics, chemistry and literature, technological innovation in computer science, and the education and cultivation of undergraduate students.

"I hope that through my little effort, I can help the university to create a more brilliant future and foster the emergence of more outstanding engineers, scientists, and technology entrepreneurs in China," said Lei, who graduated from the university's computer school in 1991.

Wuhan University president Zhang Pingwen presented Lei with a donation certificate, and the university's Party chief Huang Taiyan awarded him the "Outstanding Education Contribution" medal.

Lei said that this recognition from his alma mater is an honor and the most important achievement of his life.

"Teachers and students are the core of the university, and alumni are the university's most cherished and valued strength," said Zhang, noting that Lei's donation is a new record for Wuhan University alumni. The previous record came from alumnus Chen Dongsheng, founder, chairman and CEO of Taikang Insurance Group, a major insurer in China.

"Like them, numerous Wuhan University alumni wholeheartedly contribute their love to the university in various ways," he said.

Huang stated that each donation from alumni carries deep sentiments and is hard-earned. He promised that the university and its foundation will responsibly manage and utilize the generous contribution.

Huang also mentioned that Lei's story of study and entrepreneurship has become legendary among Wuhan University students.

During his time at the university, Lei earned all the credits of his four-year degree in just two years. After graduation, he joined Beijing-based Kingsoft Corp, leading the company to success. In April 2010, Lei founded Xiaomi Tech, which has grown into one of the world's top three smartphone makers.

According to the university's official WeChat account, Lei began donating to Wuhan University as early as 1997. His previous total contribution equaled 130 million yuan, including several scholarships. In June of this year, the artificial intelligence teaching and research building, which was funded using Lei's donations, was put into use.

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