Yingchao Yi was born in Shenyang, China on September 9, 1965. He is the second youngest of four children. He has two older sisters and a younger brother. Yingchao received up to a high school education and entered the workforce immediately afterward. He started off in a printing company and then was transferred to a winery. His son was born in 1991. In 1995, he had the opportunity to go to America with his sister-in-law's husband. After working as a busboy at a bar and fast food restaurant in Houston for a couple of months, he decided to stay to earn some money to bring back home. However, he was offered another job as a welder, and the company also offered to help him get a permanent visa to stay in the US. He decided to also apply for his wife and child to come to Houston. They were reunited in 1997. His wife gave birth to a baby girl in 2000, a dream come true for him due to the One Child Policy in China at the time. He worked as a welder for 10 years before changing jobs as a public maintenance man for the city of Houston in 2011. He now resides in Pearland, TX.