The top 50: Jeffrey Li, managing partner, Tencent Investment

For more than a decade now, Zhaohui ‘Jeffrey’ Li has been a managing partner at Tencent Investment and a general manager at Tencent M&A, subsidiaries of the largest internet company dominating China’s artificial intelligence (AI), enterprise, automotive and security industries.

Tencent Investment has invested in over 800 companies, encompassing consumer, education, financial, gaming and social media technologies. In late 2021, the unit was able to boast an investment portfolio valued at Rmb1.2tn ($190bn).

Over the whole of last year, Tencent Investment took part in 270 funding rounds, according to financial data aggregator ITJuzi, making it one of the unit’s most active years – surpassing the 174 deals recorded in 2020.

Among the deals struck by the unit in 2022 are the lead role in the $100m series C round for Flipdish, an Ireland-based digital platform for the hospitality sector, which valued the business at $1.25bn, and participation in a $115m series C round for French challenger bank Qonto.

Li joined Tencent in 2011 and launched and led Tencent Investment’s efforts to penetrate key O2O sectors, including automotive, education and healthcare. He was responsible for Tencent’s investments in Huayi Brothers, Zhihu, Netmarble Games, Howbuy and many others around the world.

Prior to joining Tencent, Li worked as an investment principal at Germany-based publisher Bertelsmann’s Asian corporate venturing unit run by Annabelle Long for two years.

Before that, Li worked for Google and Nokia in various product and business roles, where he gained substantial experience in the internet and mobile arenas. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Peking University and an MBA from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business.