Now she is on the front lines of China's national push to educate the next generation in coding skills essential to excel in the new economy.
With a Microsoft China Education partner, she is going to bring KODU innovative curriculum to more than 150 schools and 200 IT instructors reaching 30,000 students, through forums, training sessions, and video recordings.
China sees artificial intelligence and robotics as future engines of the Chinese economy, and crucial areas of industrial growth. Authorities are investing heavily to build China's domestic capabilities in computer science.
The cultivation of "high-end talent is of the utmost importance in the development of AI," declared a State Council plan released in July 2017.
It's a visionary plan that aims to make China the world leader in AI by 2030, building a homegrown industry worth nearly $150 billion.
Committed educators like Xu are crucial to this vision.
Xu got her exposure to computers while young. As the daughter of an instructor in ship modeling at Beijing's Museum of Science and Technology, Xu was selected to join a pilot program to test children's interest and aptitude.
"I started to play. Though I wasn't very proficient, I became very interested."
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)