Kai-Fu Lee - Software Entrepreneurs, Career and Childhood

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Kai-Fu Lee's Personal Details

Kai-Fu Lee is a Taiwanese computer scientist, IT venture capitalist, micro-blogger and executive

InformationDetail
BirthdayDecember 3, 1961
NationalityTaiwanese
FamousSoftware Entrepreneurs, it, Carnegie Mellon University, Columbia University, IT & Software Entrepreneurs, Engineers, Computer Engineers, Computer Scientists
SpousesShen-Ling Lee
Childrens Cynthia Lee, Jennifer Lee
Universities
  • Carnegie Mellon University,Columbia University
  • 1988 - Carnegie Mellon University
  • 1983 - Columbia University
Notable Alumnis
  • Carnegie Mellon University
  • Columbia University
Founder / Co-Founder
  • Google China
  • Microsoft Research Asia
Birth PlaceTaipei
GenderMale
FatherLi Tianmin
Sun SignSagittarius
Born inTaipei
Famous asComputer Scientist

// Famous Software Entrepreneurs

Kai-Fu Lee's photo

Who is Kai-Fu Lee?

Kai-Fu Lee is a Taiwanese computer scientist, IT venture capitalist, micro-blogger and executive. His most well-known title is “Information Technology Venture Capitalist.” Lee is considered one of the most prominent and influential individuals in the Chinese internet sector, despite the fact that he is Taiwanese. Lee has worked for and with a number of major internet companies including Google, Microsoft, and Apple. He is among the most popular and most followed micro-bloggers in China. In addition to his numerous career activities, Lee also gives back to his community by providing mentorship and advice to young Chinese individuals. He has millions of followers on social media and even started a venture capital fund in an effort to inspire internet and computing startups

// Famous it

Childhood & Early Life

Kai-Fu Lee was born on December 3, 1961 in Taipei, Taiwan, to Li Tianmin, a historian and legislator from Sichuan, China.

Lee immigrated to the United States in 1973. While there, he attended high school in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.

After high school, he went to Columbia University to study computer science. In 1983 he graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science degree.

In 1988, he earned a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in computer science from Carnegie Mellon University.

While working on his doctorate, he designed and developed the first speaker-independent, continuous speech recognition system. Sphinx, the name of the system, was used by Lee as his thesis.

In 1986, he co-founded a Bayesian learning-based system called “Bill.” “Bill” was used to help win the US national tournament of computer players. The program was used on the board game Othello.

Career

After graduating from Carnegie Mellon University, he became a faculty member at the University.

In 1990, he became a principal research scientist at Apple. At Apple, he headed R&D groups that were in charge of programs including Plain Talk, Casper, Apple Bandai Pippin, and Gala Text (used for Mac Computers). He remained at Apple from 1990-1996.

In 1996, he left Apple and joined Silicon Graphics as the Vice President of the Web Products Division. A year later, Lee became president of the multimedia software division which is known as Cosmo Software.

Two years later, in 1998, he took a job with Microsoft that required him to move to Beijing, China. While there, he helped establish the Microsoft Research (MSR) division. Initially called MSR China, it is considered one of the best computer science research labs in the entire world. Eventually, the name was changed to MSR Asia.

In 2005, Lee was wooed away from Microsoft with an unprecedented offer from Google. They offered him a compensation package upwards of $10 million, with a $2.5 million cash sign-on bonus, and another $1.5 million in cash after one year.

In 2009, he left Google to begin his venture capital fund “Innovation Works.” The $115 million program’s objective is to create five successful Chinese start-ups annually. These startups will be in internet and mobile internet, or vast hosting services (Cloud Computing).

Major Works

While in college, he co-founded the Othello program “Bill.” At the US championship, “Bill” beat a human champion.

In 1998, he established the Microsoft Research Division in Beijing China.

In 2005, he established Google China.

In 2009, he established “Innovation Works,” a venture capital fund designed to help Chinese individuals begin their technology companies.

Later in 2009, he co-founded LightInTheBox Holding Co., Ltd., an online retail company offering a wide variety of products.

Awards & Achievements

He was inducted into the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers in 2002.

In 2010, he received an honorary Doctorate Degree from the City University of Hong Kong.

In 2012, Sina Weibo named him China’s Most Influential Micro-Blogger

In 2013, TIME named him as one of the most 100 influential people in the world.

Personal Life & Legacy

He married Shen-Ling in 1983 and they had two children: Jennifer and Cynthia.

In 2005, Lee, along with Google, was sued by Microsoft. Microsoft claimed that he violated his non-compete agreement since he began working at Google less than a year after leaving Microsoft. A Washington Superior Court Judge gave Microsoft a temporary restraining order. This prevented Lee from working on any Google products that could potentially compete with Microsoft.

In 2005, Google and Microsoft reached an undisclosed settlement.

In 2013, he was banned from Weibo for three days after using the site to complain about China’s strict internet controls.

In September 2013, he announced via social media, specifically, Weibo, that he was diagnosed with lymphoma.

Trivia

Lee was denied admission into Harvard and was placed on a waiting list for Stanford, Yale, and Princeton.

He had never had a girlfriend until his sisters set him up on a blind date with Shen-Ling. A year later, in 1983, they were wed.

After 17 months of treatment for lymphoma in Taiwan, Lee returned to China to continue working

// Famous IT & Software Entrepreneurs

Kai-Fu Lee biography timelines

  • // 3rd Dec 1961
    Kai-Fu Lee was born on December 3, 1961 in Taipei, Taiwan, to Li Tianmin, a historian and legislator from Sichuan, China.
  • // 1973
    Lee immigrated to the United States in 1973. While there, he attended high school in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.
  • // 1983
    After high school, he went to Columbia University to study computer science. In 1983 he graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science degree.
  • // 1983
    He married Shen-Ling in 1983 and they had two children: Jennifer and Cynthia.
  • // 1983
    He had never had a girlfriend until his sisters set him up on a blind date with Shen-Ling. A year later, in 1983, they were wed.
  • // 1986
    In 1986, he co-founded a Bayesian learning-based system called “Bill.” “Bill” was used to help win the US national tournament of computer players. The program was used on the board game Othello.
  • // 1988
    In 1988, he earned a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in computer science from Carnegie Mellon University.
  • // 1990 To 1996
    In 1990, he became a principal research scientist at Apple. At Apple, he headed R&D groups that were in charge of programs including Plain Talk, Casper, Apple Bandai Pippin, and Gala Text (used for Mac Computers). He remained at Apple from 1990-1996.
  • // 1996
    In 1996, he left Apple and joined Silicon Graphics as the Vice President of the Web Products Division. A year later, Lee became president of the multimedia software division which is known as Cosmo Software.
  • // 1998
    Two years later, in 1998, he took a job with Microsoft that required him to move to Beijing, China. While there, he helped establish the Microsoft Research (MSR) division. Initially called MSR China, it is considered one of the best computer science research labs in the entire world. Eventually, the name was changed to MSR Asia.
  • // 1998
    In 1998, he established the Microsoft Research Division in Beijing China.
  • // 2002
    He was inducted into the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers in 2002.
  • // 2005
    In 2005, Lee was wooed away from Microsoft with an unprecedented offer from Google. They offered him a compensation package upwards of $10 million, with a $2.5 million cash sign-on bonus, and another $1.5 million in cash after one year.
  • // 2005
    In 2005, he established Google China.
  • // 2005
    In 2005, Lee, along with Google, was sued by Microsoft. Microsoft claimed that he violated his non-compete agreement since he began working at Google less than a year after leaving Microsoft. A Washington Superior Court Judge gave Microsoft a temporary restraining order. This prevented Lee from working on any Google products that could potentially compete with Microsoft.
  • // 2005
    In 2005, Google and Microsoft reached an undisclosed settlement.
  • // 2009
    In 2009, he left Google to begin his venture capital fund “Innovation Works.” The $115 million program’s objective is to create five successful Chinese start-ups annually. These startups will be in internet and mobile internet, or vast hosting services (Cloud Computing).
  • // 2009
    In 2009, he established “Innovation Works,” a venture capital fund designed to help Chinese individuals begin their technology companies.
  • // 2009
    Later in 2009, he co-founded LightInTheBox Holding Co., Ltd., an online retail company offering a wide variety of products.
  • // 2010
    In 2010, he received an honorary Doctorate Degree from the City University of Hong Kong.
  • // 2012
    In 2012, Sina Weibo named him China’s Most Influential Micro-Blogger
  • // 2013
    In 2013, TIME named him as one of the most 100 influential people in the world.
  • // 2013
    In 2013, he was banned from Weibo for three days after using the site to complain about China’s strict internet controls.
  • // Sep 2013
    In September 2013, he announced via social media, specifically, Weibo, that he was diagnosed with lymphoma.

// Famous Engineers

Kai-Fu Lee's FAQ

  • What is Kai-Fu Lee birthday?

    Kai-Fu Lee was born at 1961-12-03

  • Where is Kai-Fu Lee's birth place?

    Kai-Fu Lee was born in Taipei

  • What is Kai-Fu Lee nationalities?

    Kai-Fu Lee's nationalities is Taiwanese

  • Who is Kai-Fu Lee spouses?

    Kai-Fu Lee's spouses is Shen-Ling Lee

  • Who is Kai-Fu Lee childrens?

    Kai-Fu Lee's childrens is Cynthia Lee, Jennifer Lee

  • What was Kai-Fu Lee universities?

    Kai-Fu Lee studied at Carnegie Mellon University,Columbia University, 1988 - Carnegie Mellon University, 1983 - Columbia University

  • What was Kai-Fu Lee notable alumnis?

    Kai-Fu Lee's notable alumnis is Carnegie Mellon University, Columbia University

  • Which company or organization was founded by Kai-Fu Lee?

    Kai-Fu Lee was the founder/co-founder of Google China, Microsoft Research Asia

  • Who is Kai-Fu Lee's father?

    Kai-Fu Lee's father is Li Tianmin

  • What is Kai-Fu Lee's sun sign?

    Kai-Fu Lee is Sagittarius

  • How famous is Kai-Fu Lee?

    Kai-Fu Lee is famouse as Computer Scientist