The President of Qualcomm Greater China, Mr. Wang Xiang, has left the company to join Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi as its senior VP of strategic cooperation. Both companies involved have verified the news in separately released statements. Qualcomm further announced that Frank Meng, thus far the President of 21Vianet Group in Beijing, will be joining Qualcomm China as its Chairman. Meanwhile, Xiaomi’s founder and CEO Mr. Lei Jun released a statement confirming the appointment of Mr. Wang Xiang at his firm, saying, “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. He was the one who successfully helped Qualcomm establish a strategic cooperation with Xiaomi, which has only deepened over time”.
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Mr. Xiang worked for thirteen years at Qualcomm, and assumed leadership of the company’s Greater China operations in 2010. Qualcomm’s global President Mr. Derek Aberle released a statement thanking Mr. Xiang for his work at the company, saying “Under Xiang’s leadership, the Company has contributed extensively to the growth and success of the mobile and semiconductor industries in China. Xiang has contributed greatly to these achievements. I’d like to thank Xiang for his more than a decade of hard work and wish him the best in his future endeavors”. Qualcomm is one of the major suppliers for Xiaomi, and many of the company’s current smartphones including flagships Mi Note and Mi Note Pro are powered by Qualcomm chips. While such appointments may be seen in some quarters as blatant poaching, leading to unease and strained relationships, both companies, at least outwardly, maintained a dignified silence and indeed, even passed of the developments as “a sign of continued cooperation”.
In related news, Mr. Frank Meng has re-joined Qualcomm after a hiatus of four years, having previously worked with the company for eight years, serving as its senior Vice-President of Chinese operations from 2008 to 2010. Mr. Meng left the company in 2010 for Motorola Mobility, where he served as the President of Greater China. He later joined 21Vianet Group in Beijing as its President, and was responsible for strategic planning, branding and marketing. He also looked after the company’s relations with the public sector, and was in charge of government affairs and strategic initiatives at the company.