So it’s pastures new for Lee Kai-fu, who last week quit as head of Google’s China operations. As one might expect from a tech sector junkie, Lee announced his next move – which involves creating a fund to back Chinese technology start-ups – via Twitter, the micro-blogging service. Twitter is currently inaccessible in mainland China. Perhaps Lee chuckled at the irony, given the troubles Google has experienced with periodic blockings of its search sites and the seemingly permanent blocking of YouTube. Apparently Lee’s new investment fund will have about US$117 million to its name, which isn’t bad for a fresh start. Who knows, perhaps the Communist Party chief of Urumqi and the head of police in Xinjiang have similarly lucrative “retirement plans” after they too left office at the end of last week. While Lee left of his own accord, the two officials were ejected from their roles following violent demonstrations in Urumqi by Han Chinese. The demonstrators – spooked by a recent spate of syringe attacks and still mindful of the ethnic violence that hit the city in July – were complaining about the paucity of public security. In a briefing all about break-ups, how could we fail to mention Rio Tinto and China? The saga of the mining giant and its major customer has everything: a failed relationship, bitter recriminations, state secrets, stints in prison and a huge pile of money. Now it appears negotiations have broken down between the two sides over iron ore contract prices. Who needs TV soap operas?