Xiaomi’s Auto Business Loses Its Head of Marketing

Zhou Xing, the marketing director of Xiaomi Auto, had departed from the car-making division of the Chinese smartphone company several weeks ago, local media outlet Unicorn Excavator reported on February 21.

Despite his young age of 35 years, Zhou is well-known in China’s automobile industry. He joined a major Chinese automobile manufacturer called SAIC-GM-Wuling in 2011 and served as director of its marketing center since 2019. In 2020, he was promoted to director of branding and marketing. Zhou’s fame in China has grown with the popularity of Wuling’s Hongguang Mini EV, which catered to younger generations and contemporary trends as a low price tag electric vehicle. In August 2022, Zhou joined Xiaomi Auto as the head of marketing and reported to the company’s founder, Lei Jun.

Unicorn Excavator quoted insiders saying, “Although Zhou’s title at Xiaomi Auto is the head of marketing, based on his resume and experience, his salary is at the level of a general manager.”

The source denied that Zhou’s resignation was related to the leak of confidential documents of Xiaomi Auto some time ago. “Zhou is not responsible for the supply chain. His key work is marketing. After all, his expertise and resources are mainly concentrated in this area.”

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Xiaomi attributed Zhou’s resignation to personal reasons. An employee alleged that Zhou is not accustomed to internet companies like Xiaomi. According to another local outlet, Zhou would return to SAIC-GM-Wuling.

In November 2022, Lei Jun set a goal for Xiaomi Auto to become one of the top five car makers in the world. On Investor Day on February 9, he added a time frame to this goal–to be achieved within 15 to 20 years. Lei remarked, “Xiaomi has tens of millions of loyal fans and users in China. If even 1% of them are willing to give Xiaomi Auto a chance, we would have a fantastic start.”