Chinese phone maker Xiaomi has hired Wang Xiang, the former head of Chinese operations at Qualcomm. Wang is joining Xiaomi as senior vice president of strategic cooperation.
“Wang Xiang is a highly experienced executive with an in-depth understanding of the communications industry,” said Xiaomi founder and CEO Lei Jun in a statement. “He was the one who successfully helped Qualcomm establish a strategic cooperation with Xiaomi, which has only deepened over time. I believe that with Wang Xiang’s excellent leadership skills, over 20 years of experience in the industry, and close ties with players within the mobile ecosystem, he will be able to steer Xiaomi to the next level of success in strategic cooperation and establishing important partner relations.”
Wang had worked at Qualcomm for 13 years where he served as senior vice president of Qualcomm and president of Qualcomm Greater China. Before Qualcomm, Wang held positions at Motorola and Lucent/Agere.
Most experts agree that Wang was instrumental in setting Qualcomm up for success in China, where he established a strong working relationship with Xiaomi.
In recent years, Qualcomm China has come under fire by government officials. The company was accused of violating China’s antimonopoly law, which led to a $1 billion fine in February 2015. The company is also facing increasing competition from MediaTek, which is selling chipsets at a lower margin.
Qualcomm is an investor in Xiaomi and the company’s Mi line uses Qualcomm’s Snapdragon application processors. The latest Mi Note Pro uses Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 810 processor.
Founded in 2010, Xiaomi was recently valued at $45 billion in a $1.1 billion venture capital round. The fledgling company sold 61 million handsets last year, mostly in China.