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Internet guru diagnosed with cancer

By Jin Zhu and Wang Qingyun | China Daily | Updated: 2013-09-07 02:23

Kai-Fu Lee, a prominent figure in China's Internet industry and a popular blogger, received many messages of support on Friday, the day after revealing online that he was suffering from lymphoma.

"I am really moved by the many messages I have received. I always believe that how a person reacts when confronted with a disease determines the quality of his spiritual world in the future," Lee wrote on his Sina Weibo micro blog on Friday morning.

Internet guru diagnosed with cancer

Kai-Fu Lee, founder of Innovation Works, writes in his micro blog on Thursday he has been diagnosed with lymphoma, sparking public concern over health issues generally.Provided to China Daily

"Although lymphoma is a serious disease, which worries my family members and friends a lot, I know this is life, full of unexpected things. I will choose to face it, as diseases are part of life."

His remarks came after he wrote on his micro blog on Thursday night that he has been diagnosed with cancer. "You never know what comes next, and life is limited. Every one is equal before cancer," he wrote.

The comment had been forwarded more than 150,000 times by Friday afternoon.

Wang Zhaohui, media secretary of Innovation Works, the technology incubator that Kai-Fu Lee founded in 2009, said Lee is receiving medical treatment. He did not elaborate.

A former staff member at Innovation Works, who declined to be named, said on Friday he was surprised when he heard of Lee's illness.

"He was quite busy at work and has a sense of humor. He loves reading and staying with his family," he said.

Lee, 52, born in Taiwan, is the former head of Google China and founder of Microsoft Research Asia. He set up Innovation Works to provide a platform to help entrepreneurial companies grow rapidly, offering not only venture financing, but also services such as marketing, recruiting, and legal support.

The company's investment now covers the software-enabled IT sector, including mobile Internet, consumer Internet, e-commerce and cloud computing.

On Friday, Lee, who has more than 51 million followers on Sina Weibo, received floods of greetings via the Internet.

Fan Haitao, author of the book Make a World of Difference: The Kai-Fu Lee Story, said on her micro blog: "I became refreshed and positive when I started to write about you. I knew you have changed a lot of people. Cheer up, Kaifu!"

Han Han, a famous young writer and racing driver, said in his micro blog that he visited Lee's Innovation Works a few months ago.

"His office is humble and small. He has always tried to make this world a better place. He enables more young people to have opportunities and power," he wrote.

"When you walk a long way, you will inevitably encounter rain, but a nice person will finally live through to see the sun when the clouds clear away. I hope Kai-Fu will recover soon."

Meanwhile, Lee's illness has triggered public concern over health issues.

Statistics in 2009 showed that lymphoma ranked eighth among all cancers in China in terms of incidence rate. Its death rate ranked 10th, said Chen Wanqing, deputy director of the National Central Cancer Registry.

In 1988, fewer than four of every 100,000 Chinese people suffered from the cancer, but the rate rose to 6.68 per 100,000 in 2009, although the exact cause of the increase is not yet known.

"There is higher incidence of lymphoma in cities than in the countryside," he said.

Beijing reported 1,261 lymphoma cases — 9.95 per 100,000 people — in 2011.

That compares with 5.26 per 100,000 in 2002, the Beijing Cancer Hospital said.

"Infections, abnormal immune functions and environment pollution are probably major factors behind large increase in such cases," the hospital said.

Zou Ping, a 26-year-old software engineer in Beijing, said he feels exhausted after a whole day's work. "More people come to realize the potential risks that can be triggered by too much work. But most cannot take a break from their hard work, especially those in senior positions," he said.

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