Kuo-chieh Li was made assistant chamberlain, commanding the Palace guard in 1901. Later, senior councillor of the board of agriculture, works and commerce, Chinese Minister to Belgium in 1910-1912 and rendered financial assistance to the Chinese students studying in Belgium during the 1911 Revolution when the government allowance was discontinued. He was a member of the advisory council of the President in 1914. Since 1924, he had been living in retirement in Shanghai, taking special interest in the China Merchants Steam Navigation Company, which was established by his grandfather and of which he was chairman of the board of directors for many years.
Mr. Li was also connected at different times with a number of other industrial enterprises in Shanghai, due to complications which developed owing to his attempt to negotiate a loan of ¥30,000,000 for the Company with a foreign realty concern in Shanghai in 1932, he was relieved of all his connections with the Company by an order of the Government.