For Google China’s Head Kai-Fu Lee, being the top man of Google’s regional offices is definitely not the end of the road. Three days after leaving his post, Mr. Kai-Fu Lee has created a new tech start-up – Innovation Works.Innovation Works aims to help talented Chinese engineers and entrepreneurs develop new Internet and mobile computing technologies.
During a telephone interview with NYT, Mr. Kai-Fu Lee explained Innovation Works plan:
“We’re going to collect the best ideas, and we’re going to hire the best engineers and entrepreneurs. After one year, we’ll send the companies into the open. If they get venture capital funding, great; if they don’t, they won’t live.”
Interestingly, Innovation Works got a solid backer – YouTube co-founder Steve Chen and several tech groups including Foxconn Technology Group, manufacturer of the iPhone and HP computers.
Mr. Lee served as Google China’s head for four years, until he decided recently to leave the company. But he quickly denied the rumors that he left Google China due to the recent incidents of Google violating China’s censorship rules. He also denied that his decision has something to do with China’s Baidu search engine consistently preventing Google from taking its place in the Chinese search engine market.
With Mr. Lee’s familiarity with how Google works, he is now in a better position to tap into start-ups that could eventually rival Google. Another Baidu perhaps? Then perhaps, Google’s long-time dream of conquering the Chinese search engine market will no longer come to a reality.