Chinese investor Zhang Lei and his Asia-based investment firm has helped some of the United States’ most elite colleges, including Yale, Stanford, and Princeton, manage their capital.
He has also funded an artificial intelligenceresearch institute at a major state-run university in China—established to develop technology to benefit government authorities.
Hillhouse Capital Group was founded by Zhang in 2005. Today, it has minority stakes in some of the biggest tech companies in China and the United States, including Tencent, Alibaba, Facebook, Amazon, and Uber.
Since his company has flourished, Zhang made some generous donations to his alma maters in China and the United States.
At Yale, where he got a master’s degree from the School of Management, Zhang donated$8,888,888 in January 2010, the figure representing an auspicious amount in Chinese culture.
According to Zhang’s biography on his company website, he is currently on the board of trustees at Yale and chair of the university’s Asia Development Council, an alumni group that seeks to bolster the school’s ties in Asia.
Zhang also made donations to his undergraduate college, Renmin University located in Beijing. After making a 10 million yuan donation (about $1.4 million) in 2010, he was appointed vice chair of the university’s board of directors.
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