Xiaomi CEO's awkward English remixed into hit song

Updated: 2015-05-04 10:10

By Chen Bei(chinadaily.com.cn)

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Xiaomi CEO's awkward English remixed into hit song

Lei Jun, founder and CEO of China's mobile company Xiaomi, speaks at a launch ceremony of Xiaomi Phone 4, in Beijing, July 22, 2014. [Photo/Agencies]

A famous Chinese smartphone maker has cemented its position with its targeted young consumers, who love self-mockery and embrace not high-end but practical products, thanks to its founder and chief executive's awkward English.

Xiaomi Corp's Lei Jun, whom TIME magazine recently named as 100 Most Influential People along with Apple CEO Tim Cook, has blitzed China's social media with his "are you ok" promotional speech in India.

The two-minute speech in English has now been remixed to a hit song that has captured China's social media.

Xiaomi, frequently referred to as China's cheaper Apple, unveiled its first smartphone -Mi 4i- aimed at overseas consumers in India late last month.

Lei Jun, dressed in a formal dark suit, opened the global launch event with amiable "hello, how are you, Indian Mi fans" in a no-where English accent, which immediately bonded him with the chuckling audience.

Lei further brought the whole hall to a big belly laugh when he blurted out in mistake, "I'm very happy to be in China." He then immediately corrected his slip of the tongue with innocent laughter by saying, "to be in India".

The acknowledged "China's smartphone king" seemingly didn't feel embarrassed. With a sincere look on his face, he carried on with his tongue-tied English speech, telling the audience that he would give all of them a MiBand fitness tracker free of charge.

The audience was brought to a climax when Lei, in an apparent move to interact with his Mi fans, shouted, "Are you ok? Are you ok?"

"Are you ok" has undoubtedly become a hallmark of Lei's poor English.

The video of the event, which swiftly swept China's social media, has been viewed more than half a million times on China's leading video streaming site Youku.

On the back of the original video that amused China's Mi fans, who prefer to be called "diaosi" for self-mocking a non-elite group with mediocre appearance and income, a new remixed rap song "are you ok" has captured the Internet.

Watch the remixed rap song video bellow.

The song has been viewed more than 700,000 times since April 30 on bilibili.com, a Chinese video streaming site that allows users to take part in videos by sending text messages that are displayed on screens.

More than 12,000 comments have been projected to the screen, with most poking fun of the tech startup's chief.

One of the comments reads, "It is too late to realize that my English proficiency can reach level 10 (as compared to Lei's)." In China, the commonly acknowledged level is 8, which is usually achieved by English majors.

To show how poor Lei's English was, social media users spared no efforts to put together the English speeches addressed by China's IT tech moguls including Jack Ma, founder of e-commerce giant Alibaba, Robin Li, founder and chief executive of China's dominant search engine Baidu, and Richard Liu, founder and chief executive of China's biggest online retailer JD.com.

It is said that both Jack Ma and Robin Li are ranked as highest-level English orator, with Richard liu in the middle and Lei Jun at the bottom.

Xiaomi CEO's awkward English remixed into hit song

Lei Jun, CEO of Xiaomi, receives a certificate rewarded by Guinness World Records on April 9, 2015. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

It is not known if Lei has attempted such an effect to amuse his potential consumers on purpose.

The proven fact is that he posted a promise on his Weibo account, "Now that there are more and more Xiaomi fans overseas, I really should improve my English so that I won't disappoint everyone!"

Xiaomi is famed for marketing its sales online. Earlier last month, during a single 12-hour period in April, the smart mobile company sold 2.1 million phones online. The Guinness World Records announced that it created a new world record - "the largest sales of mobile phones on a single online platform within 24 hours".