(Yicai Global) March 12 -- Li Yinan, founder of luxury electric bike maker Niu Technologies Group Ltd., has resigned from his role as chief executive to head up growth funds at Plum Ventures, four months after being released from prison.
The 48-year-old will still retain shares in the Shanghai-based company, an insider told Beijing News. Niu planned to go public this year but has struggled to meet listing requirements as Li spent most of the past three years behind bars.
Li was found guilty of insider trading in June 2015 was sentenced to two and a half years and to pay a CNY7.5-million (USD1.2-million) fine. He was working at GSR Ventures in 2014 when his mother and brother-in-law purchased shares in a Wuhan-based toolmaker after its president, a university friend, told Li that the company was considering a merger. He unsuccessfully appealed the verdict last year.
“The new job suits him well,” the insider said, adding that Li has experience and an interest in investment from his time at GSR.
Li has held a host of enviable roles in China’s rising tech landscape. At 27, he became the youngest vice president at smartphone maker Huawei Technologies Co., and is a former chief technical officer at the country’s leading search provider Baidu Inc. He founded Niu Technologies in 2014 with a vision of using the best materials and most sophisticated technology to create China’s greatest electric car.