Briefing: Gionee’s former president Lu Weibing joins Xiaomi

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前金立總裁盧偉冰加盟小米 – Engadget

What happened: Xiaomi founder and CEO Lei Jun announced on Wednesday in a Weibo post that Gionee’s former president Lu Weibing has joined the company. Although Lei did not reveal details of Lu’s new role at Xiaomi, speculation suggests that he will lead Meitu’s hardware business, which Xiaomi took over in November. Other reports theorize Lu would likely be in charge of Xiaomi’s international expansion.

Why it’s important: Lu Weibing stepped down as Gionee’s president in 2017 and went on to establish a venture to replace the company’s overseas OEM arm. The Shenzhen-based Gionee filed for bankruptcy near the end of December because it was reportedly unable to pay off debts to its suppliers. Founded in 2002, Gionee gained a reasonable market share in China and several emerging markets including India, Vietnam, and the Philippines in its early years. However, the company has struggled to compete with bigger Chinese brands like Xiaomi, Oppo, and Vivo.