No traditional advertising. Just social media and word of mouth. Factory-direct selling with no middleman. A brilliant disruptor as CEO, still just in his early 40s. In fact, he’s Forbes’ Businessman of the Year for 2014. He’s compared with Steve Jobs quite a bit.
We’re not talking Tesla. We’re talking Xiaomi, the Chinese smartphone phenom that ranks #3 behind only Samsung and Apple, and whose CEO is a big Tesla fan. And his VP is supposedly in Silicon Valley right now. Yes, another possible Tesla partnership; another dandruffy head-scratcher. If you can interlock these puzzle pieces, maybe there’s a complete picture somewhere here:
Fact: Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun hearts Tesla.
Fact: Xiaomi plans to enter the EV business and is already working with a major auto company. And the timing is good, because China is trying to sprout more local EV builders by massaging policy to allow non-car companies into this regulated business. However, this article ties Xiaomi to BYD, the poor-man’s Tesla produced by Chrysler.
Fact: Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, Tesla and Xiaomi are sprinkled together here. And we know Apple has talked to Tesla. What’s the relevance? A bridge between hand-held tech and cars.
Fact: Lei Jun just bought a stake in Misfit Wearables. The company is located in Daly City outside San Francisco. Not Silicon Valley, but close enough. If Lei Jun or his VP were spotted in the area, that alone could have sparked the recent Tesla speculation.