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Neil Shen

Chinese: 沈南鹏
Birthplace: Zhejiang, China
Managed by: Alex Bickle
Last Updated:

About Neil Shen

Neil Shen (born 1967) is an entrepreneur and investor based in the province of Zhejiang, China. He is the founding and managing partner of Sequoia Capital China.

He earned a bachelor’s degree at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, and holds a master’s degree from Yale University in the United States. He serves as Global Steward of Sequoia Capital. and is also the co-founder of Ctrip and the Home Inns hotel chain.

Shen is the number one-ranked investor from China according to the Forbes’ Midas List from 2012 through 2015.

As a director of the China Entrepreneurs Forum, Shen served as the rotating chairman in 2015. He is the board chairman of the Yale Leadership Center in China. He is the Vice-Chairman of the Venture Capital Committee for Asset Management Association of China. Shen is also a Trustee of the Asia Society. He is the founding board member and the 2016 rotating President of the Future Forum. He serves as a Director of Teach For China. He is also the Vice President of Beijing Private Equity Association, and the Vice Chairman of the Zhejiang Chamber of Commerce, Shanghai.

He was the top-ranked venture capitalist in China according to Forbes from 2010 to 2013 Shen topped the Forbes ranking of Top Venture Capitalists in China in 2014 and 2015. He was ranked at No. 3 in 2014. The Asian Venture Capital Journal named him the Venture Capitalist of the Year in both 2010 and 2015, and also the Entrepreneur of the Year in 2004. CCTV included Shen on its 2006 list of the China Economic Person of the Year. In 2016, the New York Times reported that Shen was ranked at #9 on the CB Insights listing of the world’s top venture capitalists.

In both 2014 and 2015, Shen, as one of the few honored guests, attended the first and second China's World Internet Conference He is a member of High-level Advisory Council of the Secretariat of the World Internet Conference Organizing Committee.

In September 2015, Shen was received by Chinese President Xi Jinping at the China – U.S. Internet Industry Forum in Seattle, Washington, USA.


In 1985, Neil Shen attended Shanghai Jiaotong University in the first class of its newly established program which waived selected students from examination requirements. In 1989, he graduated with a Bachelor’s degree from Shanghai Jiao Tong University.

In 1989 he travelled to the United States to study—initially majoring in Mathematics at Columbia University and later accepted at Yale University. He received a Master's Degree from the Yale University in 1992.


Following graduation from Yale in 1992, Shen accepted a position at Citibank in the United States.

In 1994, Shen returned to China, joining Lehman Brothers, where he handled investment-banking projects in China.

From 1996 to 1999, Shen served as a director at Deutsche Bank in Hong Kong, China, responsible for transactions involving China's debt capital markets.

In 1999, Shen founded Ctrip, serving as chairman, president and chief financial officer. On December 9, 2003, Ctrip was listed on the NASDAQ.

In 2002, he founded the Home Inns hotel chain where he served as the founder and co-chairman. On October 26, 2006, the Home Inns hotel chain was listed on NASDAQ.

In 2003 and 2004, Shen personally became the angel investor and board director of E-House China and China Focus Media.

Sequoia China

Sequoia Capital China was established in 2005 as an affiliate to the U.S. firm under the leadership of Shen.

Following the economic crisis, in 2009 Sequoia Capital, led by Shen, chose to invest in companies with high-potential growth.

Shen has managed the IPOs of several companies on NYSE, HKEx, and China A-Share Exchange.

He facilitated the merger of Sina Real Estate Channel with E-House China, and successfully listed E-House China on NYSE on August 8, 2007. In December 2009, Shen helped the Cao Guowei team to lead the acquisition of the No.1 online portal Sina.

Now Sequoia China has offices in Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Suzhou, and Shenzhen. Over the past ten years, Sequoia China has built an impressive and diverse portfolio. This group of approximately 300 dynamic companies delivers high returns on investment using differentiated technologies and innovative business models. They include Alibaba, VIPshop,,, Didi, Ourpalm, Qihoo 360, Jumei, Momo, SINNET, Dianping, Meituan, Meilishuo, Toutiaoto, Navi,, DJI, VanceInfo, Noah Private Wealth Management, Wanda Cinemas, Alibaba Pictures, Plateno Hotels Group, Deppon Logistics, ZTO Express, Beta Pharma, Snibe Diagnostic, BGI, WEGO, and Yuwell Medical.

Educational and civic activities

In 2005, Shen funded a scholarship program at his alma mater Shanghai Second School.

In 2009, Shen endowed the "Sequoia Xia An" professorship fund at his undergraduate alma mater Shanghai Jiao Tong University, as well as a scholarship program named "Zhiyuan College Outstanding Student Scholarship".

As a board member of the Education Development Foundation at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Neil Shen has funded the summer exchange program between Shanghai Jiao Tong University and Yale University. Neil Shen has also made several donations to Yale University.

In October 2014 the Yale University China Center was unveiled in Beijing. Shen participated in the endowment of the Center with the largest donation ever from Yale China Alumni.

In November 2015, during COP 21 (United Nations Conference on Climate Change in Paris), the Breakthrough Energy Coalition was formed led by Bill Gates, Neil Shen, Jack Ma, Mark Zuckerberg and 28 other business leaders who committed to invest significant resources in the next five years to address climate change and clean energy issues.

Shen is Director and a long-time benefactor of the Teach For China program

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Neil Shen's Timeline

Zhejiang, China