Ex-Googler Lee lands in China
Sep 7th 2009 6:00PM
Updated Dec 4th 2009 3:14PM
It didn't even take a full weekend for the former head of Google's (NASDAQ: GOOG) China operation, Kai-fu Lee to find a new home. The recently departed executive announced on Sunday that he was planning to start his own business in the coming week, funding technology startups in China. So, he'll be playing in the same market in the same country – he'll just be doing it from the inside.
According to a report by Reuters, Lee told the world of this development via Twitter (his account has been verified by the micro-blogging service provider), though his bio still reads, "I am the President of Google Greater China. I used to work at Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT), Silicon Graphics (NASDAQ: SGI), and Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL). I have written several Chinese books." His plan is to focus on helping young Chinese entrepreneurs secure angel financing to get their companies off the ground. Two of Lee's former employers -- Google and Apple -- started out with support from angel funds.Also from his Twitter stream, Lee has said he plans to hold a press conference on Monday to formally share his news with the world. He intends to start with approximately $117.1 million in capital. Whether he has raised this money yet is unclear. The company's name is said to be Innovation Works and will focus on the internet, mobile and information technology sectors.
At Google, Lee leaves behind a fierce battle with local search engine Baidu (NASDAQ: BIDU) -- his former employer's market share in China ranges from 20 percent to 30 percent, depending on which estimates are used. His efforts were further frustrated by ongoing battles with Chinese authorities and ethical dilemmas over censorship.