The Strategist

Here's how head of Xiaomi lost ¥ 1 bln

05/01/2019 - 02:59

In 2013, Lei Jun argued had a bet with Head of China's largest air conditioner manufacturer that five years later his company's revenue would exceed Gree Electric's revenues. Now it seems that he lost the bet.

Fortune Live Media
Fortune Live Media
Lei Jun, Founder and CEO of smartphone maker Xiaomi, lost a bet worth 1 billion yuan ($ 148.4 million) to Dong Mingzhu, Head of China's largest manufacturer of air conditioners Gree Electric Appliances Inc., Bloomberg reports.

The entrepreneurs bet in 2013, the agency reminds. Then, on the air of one of the Chinese TV channels, Lei said that, according to his estimates, income of the smartphone maker would exceed that of Gree Electric in five years. The businessmen did not indicate any specific revenue figures.

“Let the whole country witness, if in five years our revenues exceed those of Gree, Chairman Dun will pay me one yuan,” Lei said then. But his opponent proposed to increase the rate to 1 billion yuan.

On Sunday, April 28, Gree Electric, notes Bloomberg, reported revenue of 198 billion yuan ($ 29.4 billion) over the past year. This, the agency writes, is about 20 billion yuan ($ 2.97 billion) more than that of Xiaomi’s over the same period.

However, it is unclear whether Head of Xiaomi will pay the billion, Bloomberg writes. In 2013, according to the agency, his statements were regarded as an upstart call to one of the most authoritative national entrepreneurs. Representatives from Xiaomi and Gree declined to comment on this. 

Gambling in Mainland China is prohibited, Bloomberg also reminds.