Barry Lam 101: The Taiwanese Businessman
Zatrun Published at June 01, 2023

In our article titled “Barry Lam 101: Who is the Taiwanese Businessman?” on, we will delve into everything you need to know about Barry Lam, the Taiwanese businessman that our readers are curious about, in detail.

Barry Lam

Who is Barry Lam?

Barry Lam is a Taiwanese businessman with the Chinese name 林百里 (Lín Bǎilǐ) in Pinyin and Lam4 Baak3 Lei5 in Cantonese Yale. He is the founder and chairman of Quanta Computer, as well as a supporter of arts and culture and a philanthropist in the education sector. As of May 25, 2021, Bloomberg Billionaires Index estimated Barry Lam’s net worth at $5.98 billion. He was born in Shanghai and grew up in Hong Kong, where his father was an accountant for the Hong Kong Club. He graduated from National Taiwan University with undergraduate and graduate degrees in electrical engineering.

In 1973, he co-founded Kinpo Electronics with some former classmates, which started as a manufacturer of handheld calculators. As the company’s chairman, he turned it into the largest contract manufacturer of calculators. In the late 1980s, he believed that laptops would be the next big product. He left Kinpo and founded Quanta Computer in 1988 with less than $900,000 in capital, with the help of his colleague C.C. Leung. In 2007, Quanta Computer had a revenue of NT$777 billion (US$23.7 billion).

In 2006, Fortune magazine listed Quanta among the Fortune Global 500 companies, and in 2007, Forbes ranked Quanta as the 15th most admired computer company in the world, the highest ranking ever achieved by a Taiwanese company. Quanta designs and manufactures for clients such as Apple Inc., Compaq, Dell, Gateway, BlackBerry Ltd., Hewlett-Packard, Alienware, Cisco Systems, Fujitsu, Gericom, Lenovo, LG, Maxdata, MPC, Sharp Corporation, Siemens, Sony, Sun Microsystems, and Toshiba. It is the largest laptop manufacturer in the world and has diversified into servers, storage, and LCD terminals.

Career Life


Barry Lam, the founder of Quanta Computer, established the Quanta Research and Development Center in central Taiwan. The center collaborates with major institutions such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), National Taiwan University, and Academia Sinica to undertake numerous collaborative projects aimed at producing next-generation products.

MIT T-Party Project

In 2005, Lam and Quanta joined the T-Party Project with MIT. The five-year initiative aims to create new platforms for computing and communication and explore new ways of managing and accessing information.

One Laptop per Child Project

Lam decided that Quanta would be the original design manufacturer (ODM) for the OLPC XO-1 designed by the One Laptop per Child Project. Quanta received orders for one million laptops by February 15, 2007. The OLPC project was also part of Quanta’s Blue Ocean Strategy and entered new market segments that were unquestionably competitive.

Art Patronage and Philanthropy

Barry Lam is one of the leading art patrons in Taiwan. He has more than 1,000 works in his personal art collection, with a particular focus on Chinese paintings and calligraphy. One of his favorite painters is Zhang Daqian, and he owns over 250 of his works. Lam is the sponsor of the Zhang Daqian Museum, located in the artist’s former home. He also created the Art and Technology Museum at Quanta’s headquarters in Taiwan, where he displays his personal art collection. Lam is the chairman of the Advisory Board of the National Palace Museum in Taipei, which has one of the world’s largest collections of Chinese artifacts.

Lam is the president of the Contemporary Art Foundation, which manages MoCA Taipei. He is also the director of the Cloud Gate Dance Theatre, a Taiwanese modern dance group that has toured extensively in Europe and the United States, including at the Guggenheim Museum in New York. Lam is the founder and chairman of the Quanta Culture and Education Foundation in Taiwan, which promotes culture, art, and education. The foundation supports free educational exhibitions and programs for schools, with over 1.3 million young people participating in educational activities. The foundation has received the Wen Hsin Golden Award from the Taiwan Council for Cultural Affairs on multiple occasions.

In November 2002, Barry Lam announced that he would provide funding to the College of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at his alma mater, National Taiwan University. The building, which opened in July 2004, is known as the Barry Lam Hall and houses the Barry Lam Art Gallery on the ground floor. Lam is also the chairman of the Dwen An Social Welfare Foundation, which is financed by leading Taiwanese businessmen. He serves as a board member of the Hong Kong-based China Exploration and Research Society (CERS), which is dedicated to understanding China’s natural wonders.


Barry Lam has won numerous awards, particularly for his contributions in the fields of science, technology, and art. Some of these awards include:

  • 2019 Medal for Scientific and Technological Professionalism, Ministry of Science and Technology
  • 2012 Honorary Doctorate, National Tsing Hua University
  • 2007 Honorary Doctorate, National Taiwan University
  • 2005 Honorary Doctorate: Doctor of Technology, Hong Kong Polytechnic University
  • 2006 ‘Second Class Radiant Star Medal’, Government of Taiwan
  • 2006 and 2002 Wen Hsin Silver Award for promoting social education outstandingly, Council for Cultural Affairs
  • 2005 Entrepreneur of the Year, Ernst and Young
  • 2002 One of the 25 Managers of the Year, Business Week Magazine
  • 2001 and 1999 One of Asia’s Stars, Business Week Magazine.

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