Interview with Lin Bin

Today i am going to bring you a great interview with Lin Bin. This interview is quite long so grab some snacks before you read

On April 28, Global Mobile Internet Conference was held in Beijing National Convention Center,  on that day itself Lin Bin announced that the long awaiting Mi Note pro will be finally selling on next Wednesday

Lin Bin said according to the original plan, Xiaomi plans to release Mi Note Pro in the first quarter. However In the past few months, Xiaomi, Qualcomm and other partners work closely together strive to make the best product for the customers resulting the product is not released as scheduled.

The Mi Note Pro version will have minor changes in appearance, "the edge is gold, CPU Qualcomm Snapdragon 810,  optimization of the camera self-timer function, batteries and lots more.

In addition, he also talked about Xiaomi in India. "last July we just enter the Indian market, and throughout this nine months we are learning, this is the first time we released our product outside of China and indeed put in alot of efforts, besides that we were warmly greeted by India Mi Fans, we planned alot on Lei Jun's appearance but we never expected that Lei Jun speaking in English will caught media's eyes and it become the headlines for the media. I think this is the changes of Chinese entrepreneurs from the past to today and trying to explore global market, a simple word "are you ok " is not an easy task on the stage with many audiences and therefore I encourage you to learn from Lei Jun's courage and confidence.

Host : Lets begin our talk with Lei Jun showed his Lei's style english and greet the Mi Fans there, what is your opinion about this?

Lin Bin : Have you all watch the video? Don't you think he is cute? Haha, that is actually one small surprise that we planned for Lei Jun to interact with Mi Fans. The whole conference was conducted by Hugo in english as we released our product Mi4i in India. We already predicted media will focus on Lei Jun but we do not expect this topic will still discussed for so long. I think even on today morning when i read the newspaper the news is still there.

In fact, everyone think this is fun but in fact there are a lot of controversy, I myself who involve in Chinese entrepreneur do think that Chinese companies are improving and showing mature performance. In this conference, we also have alot of excellent companies representative such as Mr Yu from Huawei and alot more. Chinese enterprises from the past 10 years, 20 years until today has the courage to interact with global consumers. It makes me see the maturity and self-confidence corporate entrepreneur. I believe one day our audience who present today would eventually step out from China and go on to global and launch their products and i encourage everyone out there learn from Lei Jun and greet them with are you ok.

Host : I did some research before this talk and i realised this is not the first time Lei Jun used 'are you okay'. This is actually a sign for confidence and a friendly interaction with fans. Of course i like the idea of using 'are you okay'  to go globally. So you and Lei Jun went to India not just to say 'are you ok' this sentence right, do you have any fun moments or stories to share with us?

Lin Bin : Five years ago we founded Xiaomi, and until today we are trying to form our ecosystem,including hardware, software and Internet. Last year we managed to enter the Indian market. India is a very big market and the Indian companies follow the trend of cooperation. Hugo and his team put in alot of efforts and hardworks in the process of making Mi4i in India. There are many features made based on user's feedback. In the past eight or nine months, researchs and developments were carried out to make this phone. We do not expect the first event held outside of China will get such a great response. We have more than ten thousand Mi Fans applied for the ticket but the venue can only fit in 1,700 people and all of them attended the event ! Initially we still think and worried that people in India might not know Xiaomi this brand yet but the result showed that our thinking was wrong. The venue has 1400 seats and in India there is this special law that it's not allowed to stand so we placed the rest in a conference room and provide live broadcast to them.

Anyway, the entire conference was quite crazy, Hugo's speech was interrupted few times and the process was fully filled with laughter. Especially the part when Lei Jun on stage, those who not there might not feel the atmosphere. During that time everyone cheered for him, he can't even speak because the cheers are too loud. He is like a superstar who attended a Fan meeting session. The Wall Street Journal also reported our event. Mi fans started to queue up from 1 pm and our event actually start on 4pm. I was told some Mi fans even said they willing to die to get Mi products, i am not so sure whether this translation is correct but overall this event is a huge success. Then now Tata group also invested on Xiaomi surely we are happy with this move and glad that Mi Fans in India love our products.

Host : Do everyone clear and understand about Tata group?

Lin Bin : Tata is a very respectable company. They should be regarded as one of the top company in India and their remarkable move is that two-thirds of their total investment profits are use to build schools, hospitals, and charity in India so the Indian people respect them alot. After our communication with them, they recognized our business model and became the first Indian company who invested on Xiaomi.

Host : Indeed it's a legend company, and our Mi Fans are really high and crazy. So do this craziness lead you to create new products such as Xiaomi soda water, Xiaomi Toilet and so on?

Lin Bin : When i first saw Xiaomi toilet this news I was shocked. Friend who present today might think Xiaomi involve in alot of things. For example, few weeks ago we launched Mi Smart Strip, Mi Weight Scale. A lot of people say Xiaomi should just focus on phones only. I also take this opportunity to clarify with you, in fact, Xiaomi making a lot of things is a wrong concept. Xiaomi only produce five products. Mi Phone, MI Pad, Mi TV, Mi box, Mi routers, these five products. Those Mi Band, Mi Smart Weight Scale, Mi  Air Purifiers, including Mi headphones are ecological investment companies. We make and discuss the design together and working closely in the promotion of sales. Xiaomi only produce those five products i mentioned earlier and others are products from ecological companies, Not all products that carrying Xiaomi name are produced by Xiaomi.

Host : Thanks for the clarification and lets back to our topic Mi Note, why the launching of Mi Note Pro got delayed?

Lin Bin : First of all, i would take this opportunity to apology for our Fans. Our product got delay for a month late because we are trying to make the best phone. Actually our product research and development began early and Qualcomm's CETO also present, Qualcomm co-operate with us to optimize the CPU, as well as the optimization of the entire phone took longer time than we expected.We strive to make this the product become the king of Android. Therefore we faced alot of technical challenges which lead to our entire development cycle took longer. In May 6 we will have a media conference, I believe some of you already received the invitation. We will start selling the phones in very soon !

Host : Can you reveal more details about the phone?

Lin Bin : OK, we actually will be know more details after a week. Our Mi Note pro version has the appearance gold at the edge. At the same time,we use CPU Qualcomm 810 the by far best CPU. We also did a lot of optimizations especially in the camera. I will not disclose more informations now just wait patiently for our media conference.

Host : Nowadays people say Xiaomi products are not selling like a hot cake anymore, what is your opinion about this statement?
Lin Bin :  Over the past few years,I believe many people bashing Xiaomi and saying that we are using hunger marketing.They say hunger marketing is intentional to create demands. First of all we are really not using hunger strategy. Secondly, we are trying very hard to make our mobile phone buy able at any time including our flagship products. Mi 4, Mi Note has now made to open sale, i promoted open sale of this phones and what i received users in weibo are bashing and saying this products are not longer needed in market then only sell to us. I am really ran out of idea as whenever we do not have products to sell people scold us, when our products are now open sale they also scold us for selling. What should i do actually?

Host : I also have no idea to solve this scenario.

Lin Bin : This is really hard part, I think we sold 61 million mobile phones last year and this year we hope to sell 80 million to 100 million mobile phones. In fact we are enlarging our production so that our customers do not need to register online and then sitting in front of the computer every Tuesday morning. I know this experience is very bad way and we also trying to make our products reach customer's hand as soon as possible.

Host : This is more towards personal question for you, I know you are a father of three, and we know that in IT field Lei Jun is famous for his hardworking, so following such a hardworking boss how do you balance your time between work and family?

Lin Bin :  I think when we began our life in entrepreneurship, we spent a lot of time in work. If not mistaken i reached home at around 1am yesterday, basically we are having this routine for five years. Lei Jun would not go back to home before 12am too. Many of my Xiaomi colleagues put in passion, soul and really love their work. Otherwise, you would not able to do this for a long term. As long as we can produce good product, good MIUI system and provide good products to our customers that is our greatest return.

I am really thankful to my family because they understand my work. My two daughters are now in University, i am trying my best to spend my time with my youngest daughter. We had this agreement when we founded Xiaomi that is no matter how busy we are, we must spend our time with family on Sunday.

Host : Thanks for the interview today, due to the limitation of time our interview will stop here.


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