Former Google China Chief to Establish an Investment Firm to Help Tech Start-Ups Grow in China

kaifu-leeFew days ago, the search engine giant announced that Lee Kaifu, the former president of Google China has resigned from his position. Mr. Lee will be succeeded by two Google executives, the company said. Boon-Lock Yeo, currently director of Google’s Shanghai engineering office, will run engineering for Google China. John Liu, who currently leads Google’s sales team in greater China, will assume Mr. Lee’s business and operational responsibilities.

He said on Sunday on his official Twitter page that he will launch his own business, most probably a venture business platform next week to fund Chinese technology start-ups. The main objective is to help young Chinese entrepreneurs to get “angel funding” to grow their enterprises. It has been claimed that Lee was expected to establish an investment firm with about 800 million yuan ($117.1 million) in funds to help technology start-ups grow in mainland China. On his personal blog (in Chinese) which has attracted over 400,000 page-views and comments from Chinese netizens, he said that his goal was to help Chinese youth to achieve success in the technology sector. Speaking about his departure, he said, “With a very strong leadership team in place, it seemed a very good moment for me to move to the next chapter in my career.” on his blog post.

The Taiwanese-born Lee joined Apple Computer in 1990 as a research and development executive. While at Apple (1990-1996), he headed R&D groups that developed PlainTalk, the Apple Newton, and several versions of QuickTime and QuickTime VR. Lee moved to Silicon Graphics in 1996 and spent a year as president of their VRML division, Cosmo Software.

In 1998, Lee moved to Microsoft and went to Beijing, China where he established the Microsoft Research division there. MSR China later became known as MSR Asia. Lee returned to the United States in 2000 and was vice president of interactive services at Microsoft from 2000 to 2005. In July, 2005, Lee left Microsoft to take a position at Google. Under his leadership, Google China’s market share has grown tremendously, despite setbacks such as the Chinese Government blocking several Google services. However, Baidu, the most popular search engine in China still dominates the search engine market.

According to his Twitter updates, he was at a Beijing printing factory, printing 200 copies of his new book – “Making A World of Difference: The Kai-Fu Lee Story”. He will be giving them out to his close friends during tomorrow’s (Monday) press conference to formally announce the launch of his own business.

Via Reuters and Wikipedia