Born in a suburb of Shanghai, Li trained as a molecular biologist at Cornell University in the US and, after realising he wasn’t suited to fiddling with Petri dishes in a lab, switched to Columbia University, where he earned a Ph D in finance.
After years working as a senior investment banker in the US and Hong Kong, he fulfilled his dream of setting up his own business.
The charming, slightly geeky former investment banker might not seem like an obvious candidate to be a font of knowledge about the dating world, but he is an avid reader of psychology books and, as he says, “the stats never lie”.
offers two broad services: one is what Li calls a “self-service dating service” where members pay 400 yuan (US$60) a year to browse members’ profiles, chat and arrange dates; the other is a more exclusive offline, face-to-face matchmaking service that costs 4,000 yuan for six months.
It will also be the subject of his new book The first revolution consisted of learning the basics of survival - foraging, hunting, growing crops and building shelters - he said.