Kai-fu Lee, who announced his departure from Google China last week, has cause the Internet to erupt with speculation on the reasons for his departure and future plans.
News on this hot topic has been difficult to report, as many original sources are difficult or impossible for tech bloggers with limited resources to translate. However, according to a Reuters report, the former president of Google China is planning to start an angel investment firm with the equivalent of $117 million.
Lee confirmed his plans on his verified Twitter account, and this blog post seems to speak to his desire to "provide [a] business platform that provides angel investment funds and to assist and guide young entrepreneurs."
UPDATE: Since we published this post, we've been directed by one of our readers, Thomas Fahrnholz, to this more accurate and readable translation of Lee's post:
The job I want to do is providing a business platform that provides angel investment fund and assist and guide young entrepreneurs. To do this work a wealth of business management experience, industry insight, human resources and consulting capacity is necessary. I am convinced that it would be difficult to find someone more suitable than me to do this job.
During the last two periods I was working hard to set up Google China and the Microsoft China Research Institute. The reason for my hard work was not because I was poor, but because of my passion. I believe that the reason for the success and efforts of entrepreneurs is their passion, rather than their poverty.
In my new company, I can create a new world from scratch, and I will be happy to work hard every day. In fact, the past week I work on average 20 hours a day and my friends called me the 'Iron Man.'
As for cost, I took other people's hard-earned money, but they again are confident that my money will start a new business. So how would it be possible to not save costs? You can inquire that in the past few weeks, I did all the negotiating myself, no matter if it was for the domain name purchase, office rent, legal fees, in order to achieve amazing low quotations.
Lee also quashed any speculation that he might be joining IdeaLabs or that Google China is in any kind of trouble. "My reason for leaving is simple," he writes. "My new job is just too exciting!"
Recent tweets suggest that Lee is already shopping his new company to analysts and media. He will hold a press conference Monday to give more details on the investment firm.
We and the rest of the tech world wait with bated breath to hear more about Lee's new venture and what it will mean for the startup ecosystem in China.