Y Combinator hires Baidu exec, Qi Lu to head Chinese unit

Y Combinator hires Baidu exec, Qi Lu to head Chinese unit

California-based Y Combinator said it has hired Baidu’s Qi Li to head the startup developer’s Chinese unit.

Sam Altman, the CEO of Y Combinator said in a blog message that:

I am delighted to announce that Qi Lu is joining YC to launch and run YC China. I have been trying to recruit Qi for many years—he is one of the most impressive technologists I know.

Our mission at YC is to enable more innovation than any other company in the world, and to ensure that the benefits of that are fairly spread throughout humanity. We believe that technology drives innovation, that startups can do very ambitious things if they think on a long enough time horizon, and that hackers can change the world.

Qi embodies all of these values, and China has been an important missing piece of our puzzle—the entrepreneurial energy and talent there is an amazing force. Qi will be able to take what makes YC work and adapt it for China. We are excited for Qi to come onboard as the Founding CEO of YC China and to build a long-term local organization that will combine the best of Silicon Valley and China and create a lot of innovation.

Qi will also take over as the Head of YC Research, YC’s non-profit research lab. More investment in R&D is critical to a good future for the world, and we plan to establish a new YC Research location in Seattle to drive more research.

YC has been very successful in the world by believing that hackers – not businesspeople – can build the biggest companies. We are confident that with Qi at the helm, YC China will do the same.

We think that a significant percentage of the largest technology companies that are founded in the next decade—companies at the scale of Google, Microsoft, Apple, Amazon, and Facebook—will be based in the US and China. YC’s greatest strength is our founder community and with the launch of YC China we believe we have a special opportunity to include many more Chinese founders in our global community.

This has taken a lot of work from a lot of people, but I’d especially like to thank Eric Migicovsky, who has done a huge amount of work to establish YC in China!