Chinese media have recently been all over rumours, first conveyed through The Atlantic and Valleywag in 2011, that Apple CEO Tim Cook might be dating Asian-American Benjamin Ling, an investment partner at Khosla Ventures who has previously held senior positions in Google, YouTube, Facebook and Badoo. Nothing has of yet been verified or refuted.
The 2011 Atlantic commentary, which has been referred to across multiple Chinese websites, held uncanny foresight that urged that “To be the most powerful man in Tech, Cook needs to come out”. It reported how Cook was outed by two anonymous sources on the media outlet Valleywag, a Gawker site that covers Silicon Alley.
They were quoted by Valleywag as saying:
“[O]ur tech executive source claims Cook is into Asian guys, a tidbit that prompted another tech observer, with whom we shared the item, to propose some strategic matchmaking that would pair Cook with Google hotshot Ben Ling”
Ling, who is now 37, holds a Ph.D. and Master’s in Computer Science from Stanford University and a B.S. in Electrical Engineering / Computer Science with a minor in Business Administration from UC Berkeley.
A Weixin report also highlighted how Ben Ling tweeted an Businessweek aticle on Cook speaking up about how he was “proud to be gay”, along with the comment “Thank you @tim_cook for speaking up”.