A speech at the graduation ceremony of the Integrated Circuit School of Peking University in 2023

Li Xiaomin was invited to deliver a speech at the graduation ceremony of the Integrated Circuit School of Peking University in 2023.

On the morning of July 3, 2023, the Integrated Circuit School of Peking University held its graduation ceremony for the class of 2023. Mr. Li Xiaomin, Chairman of Wintech-Nano (Suzhou) Co., Ltd., and Mr. Qiao Mingsheng, Director of Research and Development, were invited to attend as outstanding graduate representatives. The ceremony was attended by Wang Yuan, Secretary of the Party Committee of the Integrated Circuit School, Cai Yimao, Dean, Liu Junhua and Zhang Shu, Deputy Party Secretaries, Wang Wei, Liu Xiaoyan, and Lu Wengao, Associate Deans, representatives of graduate supervisors, retired teachers, parents, and the graduating class of 2023.

Chairman Li Xiaomin, as an outstanding alumni representative, took the stage to deliver a speech, sharing his unforgettable experiences during his studies and wishing the students success in embracing industry development with their own creativity.

Respected graduates of the Integrated Circuit School of Peking University,

Hello everyone! It is a great honor for me to be invited back home and gather with all of you at this special moment. First of all, I would like to extend my warmest congratulations to each and every one of you. You have gone through a long journey of learning and have finally reached an important milestone in your lives.

I personally graduated from Peking University in 1998 with a major in Microelectronics. At that time, there were only 21 graduates. It was during the centennial celebration of the university, and every little detail of my four years in Yan Yuan remains vivid in my memory. Among many outstanding classmates, my academic performance was not excellent. At that time, I decided to go abroad and needed recommendation letters from professors. With an anxious heart, I approached the meticulous scholars, Ye Liangxiu and Guan Xudong, and to my surprise, I was greeted with kind faces and earnest encouragement. These top scholars could often be seen riding their old bicycles on campus, just like any other ordinary person in the crowd. Perhaps it was the influence of these mentors that led me to return to the country and make significant investments in industry, while personally still being a part of the “houseless class” to this day.

When I applied for studying abroad back then, the application fee was a significant expense. My father gave me 10,000 RMB, which was equivalent to a year’s salary for an ordinary employee in the city. Since I had already received an admission notice from the National University of Singapore, I did not apply to schools in Europe or America. As a result, I saved that 10,000 RMB. One of my dormitory neighbors was also applying to study abroad, but his family was extremely poor. Without hesitation, I gave him the entire sum of money. Subsequently, he also successfully received admission notices from foreign schools. In an era without mobile phones or even email, we lost contact after graduation. I had lied to my family, telling them that I had used all that money for application fees, but I wasn’t accepted anywhere. However, more than a year later, during a phone call, my parents told me that this classmate, who was working hard and studying in the United States, had returned to China and found my family in Qingdao based on the address in the contact list. He returned the money to my parents and left a message for me, saying, “May good people live a peaceful life.”

My lie was exposed. But instead of reproach, my parents gave me praise and encouragement.

Our predecessors and the senior generation of teachers at Peking University have been influencing generation after generation of Peking University students with their dedication, frugality, and kindness. The Peking University community that has been influenced continues to pass on this goodwill from one generation to the next.

I have been in entrepreneurship for 19 years, founding the most reputable semiconductor analysis, characterization, and auxiliary research and development platforms in Southeast Asia and mainland China. Starting with a company of my own with a capital of 20,000 Singapore dollars, relying on renting equipment from research institutes, I have grown from a “barefoot doctor of chips” to the most capable semiconductor chip “hospital” in Asia. I am grateful to have received education and spiritual enlightenment at a top-tier institution like Peking University.

Today’s graduation ceremony, I believe, brings more joy to your parents than to the graduates themselves. They are proud to have raised children who are graduating from such a prestigious university. However, you are about to embark on a completely new and unknown journey. As an alumnus, I would like to share some thoughts on life in the hope of inspiring and encouraging you.

First of all, transitioning from an ivory tower to society is the biggest environmental change in life. Graduation does not signify the end of learning but rather a new beginning. Peking University has provided you with excellent education and knowledge, but the real world is still full of challenges and opportunities. Graduation is only the end of a phase, and true success requires continuous learning and constant progress. Always maintain a humble and open mindset, be willing to accept new knowledge and experiences, and continuously enhance your abilities.

Secondly, the path of life is not always smooth sailing. In your careers and personal lives, you will encounter various setbacks and difficulties. However, it is through facing challenges and persevering efforts that we can grow and progress. Remember, failure is not a matter of probability but a certainty. It is in the face of adversity and setbacks that we need to keep getting back up, adjust ourselves, and rediscover our true selves. Each failure will make you stronger and more mature.

Lastly, I want to remind you to always remember your original intention and values. No matter what kind of work you choose or what dreams you pursue, continuously ask yourself: What kind of contribution do you hope to make to society through your own efforts? Strive for your goals while also paying attention to the needs of others, supporting and helping each other. Shine brightly yourself and try your best to make others shine brighter too. Use your creativity to make positive and value-adding contributions to society and the industry. And pass on goodwill and gratitude from one generation to the next.

The semiconductor industry, as the underlying hardware foundation of high-tech industries, has been receiving increasing attention and importance. You should consider yourselves fortunate to graduate in this era. At the same time, the semiconductor industry also exhibits distinct cyclical characteristics and is currently in a new downturn cycle. As graduates of Peking University with a scientific background, I hope that you can use your creativity to embrace and even drive the next wave of industry prosperity.

It has been 25 years since graduation, a quarter of a century. I haven’t actively mentioned that I am a Peking University graduate in public for a long time. I once jokingly said that if a person in their forties still boasts about their glory from decades ago, they must be someone without any new stories. However, I have never forgotten my alma mater, and the spirit of Peking University remains deeply ingrained in my heart. Only through continuous efforts can we live up to the illustrious reputation of our alma mater.

Dear graduates, I believe that your studies and experiences at Peking University have nurtured you into thoughtful, responsible, and accountable individuals. You represent hope and the future, so have confidence in yourselves. Your life journey is filled with infinite possibilities, and I hope you can find true happiness and success by continuously realizing your own and societal value.

Finally, once again, my warmest congratulations to all of you! May your future be smooth sailing and full of bright prospects!

Thank you, everyone!