Mr Lai joined Tencent in 2009 and was the general manager for Tenpay between 2012 and 2019. In 2015, Tencent’s payment business was accelerated and developed into Tencent FiT (Financial Technology). Since then, Mr Lai has been leading Tencent FiT until 2019.
During the time when Mr Lai headed up the Tenpay and Tencent FiT business, he and the team have made contributions of strategic significance in setting up the Group’s payment infrastructure and in creating an open financial ecosystem. In 2014, Mr Lai and his team launched WeChat Red Packet and QQ Red Packet, which had gained huge popularity across China. This enabled Tencent to tap into the fast payment market and provided a solid foundation for gaining a competitive edge in mobile payment. In 2014, Mr Lai and his team also launched the wealth management platform Licaitong. The platform has grown its aggregated customer assets to over RMB 800 billion by first half of 2019. Consequently, with payment services as an entry point, Tencent has succeeded in establishing a financial ecosystem that covers such diversified fields as wealth management, securities, banking, and blockchain. This has positioned Tencent as the leader in the FinTech sector. In 2017, Mr Lai initiated the establishment of Tencent Finance Academy, which aims to nurture cross-border talents for the Internet and financial sectors and to facilitate the long-term development of the FinTech industry. Mr Lai is the Dean of the Academy.
Tencent’s virtual bank business is tasked with the mission of exploring innovations and opening up new frontiers for the company and the industry. In May 2019, under Mr Lai’s leadership, Fusion Bank Limited, a joint venture initiated by Tencent, was granted a virtual banking license by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority. In June 2019, as Tencent’s vice president, Mr Lai was appointed as the Chairman of Fusion Bank.
Mr Lai is concurrently a director of renowned financial corporations including ZhongAn Online P&C Insurance Company Limited, Hetai Life Insurance Company Limited, and CITIC Capital Holdings Limited.
Prior to joining Tencent, Mr Lai had successively been an investment manager with Apax Partners PE in the UK and Lehman Brother’s Investment Bank in the US; and served as associate vice president at Credit Suisse First Boston Investment Bank.
Mr Lai is a member of the Guangdong Provincial Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference. In the Hong Kong SAR, he is a member of the Chief Executive's Council of Advisers on Innovation and Strategic Development and a member of Committee on Innovation, Technology and Re-industrialization. He also serves as a board member and Convenor of the Policy Research Committee of Financial Services Development Council and a member of the Financial Infrastructure and Market Development Sub-Committee of the Exchange Fund Advisory Committee of Hong Kong Monetary Authority. In 2009, Mr Lai was named Outstanding Corporate Leader in the 530 Program of Wuxi Municipality, Jiangsu Province, People’s Republic of China.
Mr Lai holds a bachelor’s degree in computer science from MIT, minor in economics. He also holds a master’s degree in computer science from MIT as well as an MBA degree from Harvard Business School.