Google’s former China head Kai-Fu Lee wants to create China’s next internet giant in a factory. He believes that by combining the smartest entrepreneurs, the shrewdest businesspeople and the brightest business ideas, he will be able to create five highly sellable companies a year. That sounds like an ideal model for venture capital, but is he being realistic?
Lee’s plan, formulated while he spent time in hospital over the summer, follows a battle with Beijing regulators who wanted to censor Google searches that lead to pornographic sites. It has drawn strong support from investors.
Lee has managed to raise $115 million in just one month, winning support from YouTube Inc. co-founder Steve Chen, as well as Foxconn Electronics Inc., Legend Group, New Oriental Education and venture firm WI Harper Group.
They believe that as China embraces a start-up culture, Lee’s business, which is a mix of venture capital and development lab, will be well positioned to capitalize.