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Ex-Microsoft exec to open Y Combinator startup incubator office in China

Former Microsoft executive Qi Lu has been a very active man over the last three years. In 2015 Lu headlined Microsoft’s developer conference with a lengthy presentation about he and his teams vision for evolving Office into a platform. A year later, Lu left the company after bad bicycle accident rendered him incapacitated for a few months. Shortly after his recovery in 2017 Lu took the position of COO at Baidu, one China’s leading tech companies.

Now, in 2018, Lu has stepped down from his COO role at Baidu and instead is taking up the position as head of Y Combinator China. Y Combinator has been credited with seeding popular tech start ups such as Dropbox Inc, Airbnb, and Reddit, to name a few.

With Lu’s position in China, his participation in Y Combinator now enables the business to grow its international arms to reach a much broader demographic of potential tech businesses. Lu will head the new YC China, but split his time between Chinese and US markets.

According to Bloomberg, Lu will ultimately be in charge of establishing a China division of the accelerator company that will look to help finance burgeoning businesses or “high growth” startups, help network and codify industry connections while retaining a small percentage of the business’ equity.

Lu has spent time at both Yahoo and Microsoft before departing to China to head artificial intelligence efforts for one of the countries largest technology companies. Y Combinator believes Lu’s level of expertise should help navigate the structural differences that come when trying to launch American-style companies in China.

Perhaps, we’ll see Lu lean on some of his old contacts to leverage partnerships or technologies that could bring more offerings from Microsoft or Yahoo to China.

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Do you think Y Combinator will succeed as incubator in China?