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Xiaomi Hires Qualcomm China Head Wang Xiang to Oversee Relations With Partners

The move is a sign of increased cooperation, not new tension, Xiaomi said.

Fast-growing Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi said Tuesday it has hired former Qualcomm China president Wang Xiang to serve as senior vice president of strategic cooperation.

“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,” Xiaomi CEO and founder Lei Jun said in a statement. “He was the one who successfully helped Qualcomm establish a strategic cooperation with Xiaomi, which has only deepened over time.”

Qualcomm supplies chips for a number of Xiaomi phones and was also one of the company’s early investors. Xiaomi pitched the move as a sign of continued cooperation rather than new tension, a sentiment that was echoed by a source close to Qualcomm.

China has been a challenging spot for Qualcomm. Some of its biggest and fastest-growing customers are there. But the company has also struggled with an antitrust investigation there as well as getting its licensees there to pay their full bills. It recently settled with Chinese authorities, paying a $975 million fine and agreeing to modify some licensing terms.

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