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Li Lu (born April 6, 1966)[1] is a Chinese-born American investor and hedge fund manager. He is the founder and Chairman of Himalaya Capital Management. He was one of the student leaders of the 1989 Tiananmen Square student protests, an experience he recounted in a 1990 book, Moving the Mountain: My Life in China, that was the basis of a 1994 documentary by Michael Apted.

Li Lu
Born (1966-04-06) April 6, 1966 (age 53)
Tangshan, Hebei, China
Alma materNanjing University
Columbia University
AwardsWorld Economic Forum
2001 Global leader for tomorrow
Li Lu
Traditional Chinese李錄 or 李祿
Simplified Chinese李录

Early Life & ProtestsEdit

Li Lu was born and grew up in Tangshan, China. He was a survivor of 1976 Tangshan earthquake. In 1985, he went to Nanjing University, majored in Physics but later transferred to Economics. In 1989, he participated in the Tiananmen Square student protests and became one of the student leaders. He helped organize the students and participated in a hunger strike. He fled the PRC through Operation Yellowbird.[2]

After the crackdown on the movement, he left China and went to study at Columbia University. In 1990, he published a book about his experience in China titled Moving the Mountain: My Life in China.

The book was the basis of a 1994 feature-film documentary, Moving the Mountain, produced by Trudie Styler and directed by Michael Apted, which probed the origins of the 1989 protests in Tiananmen Square and the consequences of the movement in the lives of several of the movement's student leaders.


Li graduated from Columbia University and he was one of the first in Columbia's history to receive three degrees simultaneously: a B.A. in Economics, a M.B.A. and a J.D. in 1996.[3]

Marriage at Tiananmen SquareEdit

A marriage ceremony was held between Li Lu and his girlfriend, Zhao Ming, at the Heroes' Monument on May 22.[4] It was a symbolic marriage that did not offer wedding sweets and wine, but bread and salt water.[5] Zhang Boli prepared a marriage certificate and embossed it with the stamp of the hunger strike headquarters, making it "absolutely official."[6] It was also Chai Ling's and Feng Congde's first wedding anniversary.[7]

Students gathered at the wedding to congratulate the married couple and sang the "Wedding March," which gradually turned into "The Internationale."[8] In the documentary "Moving the Mountain," Li is shown to peck Chai on the cheek during his marriage ceremony.[9] The peck and ceremony were emblematic, as they sought to remove traditional restrictions on courtship practices and celebrate love as liberating. Many who attended the wedding found the joyous moment to be a symbol of hope and happiness.[10] Their marriage was seen as a light backdrop to the movement; Li referred to it as "marriage on the execution ground."[11] Toward the end of his memoir, Moving the Mountain, Li does not mention his married life after the crackdown on June 4. There have since been no reports on Zhao Ming. Chai Ling quotes Li Lu in her book as saying the marriage was meaningless when he desired another woman after escaping.[12]

Investment careerEdit

Li was inspired to get into investment after hearing Warren Buffett, a Columbia alumnus, give a lecture at Columbia in 1993. After graduation, he founded Himalaya Capital Management, known for its disciplined and value-oriented approach to investing.[13][14] From 1998 to 2004, he managed both a hedge fund and a venture capital fund. His fund suffered a 19% percent loss in 1998 from the Asian Financial Crisis. In late 2004, he transformed the hedge fund into a long-only investment vehicle, LL Investment Partners, LP, which is currently focused on global investment opportunities.

Charlie Munger, Vice-Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway and a long-time partner of the legendary investor Warren Buffett, is one of the investors of his fund, and a "mentor and good friend" (in Li Lu's own words).[15] Li Lu has been known as the man who introduced the Chinese battery and auto maker BYD Company to Charlie Munger and Warren Buffett. He is an informal advisor to BYD. His LL Investment Partners owns about 2.5% of BYD.[16]

Since 1998 the firm has had a "phenomenal" record, with compound returns of around 30% per year during a period of general stagnation in the market.

Li Lu's investing mantra is "accurate and complete information," including understanding the character of a CEO by visiting his local church and speaking to his neighbors. The firm at one point managed the money of Charlie Munger, Warren Buffett's partner.[17]

Himalaya now has almost US$10 billion in capital under management.[18]

Li was rumored to be the front runner to manage a large portion of Berkshire Hathaway's investment portfolio once Warren Buffett steps down. According to The Wall Street Journal, Charlie Munger once said "it is a foregone decision" that Li Lu would be going to be a member of Berkshire's top investors team after Warren Buffett retires. This was also hinted several times in some conversations with Buffett.[19]

In May 2010, Li Lu helped to translate and publish the Chinese version of Poor Charlie's Almanack, The Wit and Wisdom of Charles T. Munger (ISBN 978-7-208-08994-5) in China and wrote a foreword for the book.[20]

Other activitiesEdit

Li Lu currently serves as a trustee of Columbia University[21] and California Institute of Technology (Caltech).[22] He is a past recipient of the John Jay Award from Columbia College, the Raoul Wallenberg Human Rights Award from the Congressional Human Rights Foundation, and the Reebok Human Rights Award. He is featured in the Family of Voices, a part of the ongoing twenty-year Exhibition, starting in 2017, "Many Voices, One Nation" at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History.[23]

Published worksEdit


  1. ^ Date information sourced from Library of Congress Authorities data, via corresponding WorldCat Identities linked authority file (LAF).
  2. ^ Lee, Samson; Wong, Natalie (July 12, 2011) "Praise for Brit agents who helped students" Archived October 16, 2012, at the Wayback Machine. The Standard
  3. ^ "2005 Columbia Investment Management Conference". Columbia Business School. Archived from the original on June 20, 2006. Retrieved July 25, 2011.
  4. ^ Li Lu, Moving the Mountain, 174.
  5. ^ Li Lu, Moving the Mountain, 173.
  6. ^ Li Lu, Moving the Mountain, 173.
  7. ^ Chai Ling, A Heart for Freedom: The Remarkable Journey of a Young Dissident, Her Daring Escape, and Her Quest to Free China's Daughters (Carol Stream: Tyndale House Publishers, 2011), 157.
  8. ^ Li Lu, Moving the Mountain, 173.
  9. ^ Moving the Mountain, directed by Michael Apted (Los Angeles, CA: Hallmark Home Entertainment, 2000), DVD.
  10. ^ Li Lu, Moving the Mountain, 174.
  11. ^ Li Lu, Moving the Mountain, 174.
  12. ^ Ling Chai, A Heart for Freedom. Carol Stream, Illinois: Tyndale House, 2011, ISBN 978-1-4143-6246-5.
  13. ^ Li, Lu (2012). "Asia Society" (PDF). Retrieved May 4, 2016.
  14. ^ "Li Lu Reflects on Getting Older -". Retrieved July 5, 2016.
  15. ^ Li Lu’s Foreword for the Chinese version of Poor Charlie’s Almanack Archived May 24, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  16. ^ "Buffett's Chinese electric car company". April 13, 2009. Retrieved July 25, 2011.
  17. ^ Value Investment Institute (September 1, 2010). "Buffett-ites or Bluff-it-ites?" (PDF). Value Investment Institute. Retrieved July 5, 2016.
  18. ^ "HIMALAYA CAPITAL MANAGEMENT LLC Top Holdings". Retrieved February 7, 2019.
  19. ^ From Tiananmen Square to Possible Buffett Successor, The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved on July 30, 2010.
  20. ^ "Chinese version of Poor Charlie's Almanack". Retrieved July 25, 2011.
  21. ^
  22. ^
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External linksEdit