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Award Winning Entrepreneur Joel Li On Helping the Auto Industry Go Green and His Musical Journey

Joel Li (legal name Qiaoer Li) has a multifaceted professional life and continues to achieve impressive feats with every career path he pursues. His business TEDA International Auto Group is committed to helping the developing auto industry optimize their approach to the buying process and do so in a more environmentally friendly and efficient way. His efforts in this area have recently earned him the position of one of Forbes China’s top 60 outstanding Chinese in North America. He has also begun pursuing a career in music and has already built an avid fan base of listeners.

Welcome Joel, thank you for taking the time to speak with us. Can you start by introducing yourself?

Hello my name is Joel Li, I spent most of my life in China and Canada. I went to university at the University of Toronto.

What led you to pursuing a career in the auto industry?

The transition from gasoline cars to electric cars is definitely my main drive in the auto industry. I always believe that we humans should adopt renewable energy as a way to combat climate change. Being able to be involved in a transition like this does means a lot to me.


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A post shared by Joel Li 李乔尔 (@joelqel)

Can you tell us about your business TEDA International Auto Group and how you developed it?

Many industries have made their buying process smarter and easier for customers in recent years, however, the auto industry hasn’t changed a lot. People still have to go through the pain of having to deal with greedy traditional dealerships. As industry leader TESLA got into the market, they completely ditched the traditional dealership model and were able to prove that there are better ways of doing things. As car manufacturers become devoted to making cars greener and smarter I believe it is also the time to make the car buying process greener, easier and cleaner. That’s the grounds of why TEDA was founded. We use cutting edge technologies like virtual reality, augmented reality and AI to simplify the entire process. So far we have had great customer feedback.

Congratulations on being awarded one of Forbes China’s top 60 outstanding Chinese in North America! How did it feel to receive this honor?

I am extremely honored to be receiving such an important award. I am earnestly grateful for the recognition I have received for my work, because I am very sure that every other nominee for this award was as capable, if not more, of winning this award.

I have faced several challenges on my way here, but each one of them has only strengthened me and made me the person I am today. Winning this award would not have been possible without the inspiration and support I have received from my team and my family, for whom I have the deepest respect, and from whom I have derived the strength to challenge myself and perform better at each stage.

What has made you decide to start branching out into music? Has music always been a big part of your life?

Absolutely, I always enjoyed listening to music. Music to me is an exercise of empathy. If I can follow the artist, and the artist can evoke an emotional response from me, then we’re connected in a similar way as when two people are having a conversation. There’s some faith involved in both – as in, I believe I’m experiencing an appropriate emotional response for a piece of music, or that I believe I know what you mean when you say “love”, or “good”.  This is how I like to think of it when people describe music as a spiritual thing. I’m not much for spirituality, but when it comes to music and connecting with people, I live for that in some ways, and I actively put in effort to try and understand as many types of music as I can. I started making random pieces of music when I was 18 years old.

What was it like releasing your first song in China?

I didn’t feel too much emotion doing that because making music is really just one of my ways of expressing some of my feelings to the world.

Your first English album OVERSEAS was recently released too. What kind of music can people expect to hear on this?

Hip pop.

It’s mainly about my experience and feelings as an immigrant.

Finally, what does the future hold for you? Do you have plans to release more music soon?

While I continue my business journey, I will definitely also be releasing more music in the future.

Than you Joel for your time!

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