McIlroy made five birdies on his back-nine during an opening round of 67
-8: H Li (Chn); -7: V Perez (Fra); -6: M Fitzpatrick (Eng), X Schauffele (US), S-J Im (Kor), A Scott (Aus)
Selected others: -5: R McIlroy (NI); -4: D Willett (Eng), L Oosthuizen (SA); -3: M Wallace (Eng), J Rose (Eng); -2: H Stenson (Swe); -1: P Mickelson (US); E: S Lowry (Ire)
World number two Rory McIlroy is three shots off the pace after carding an opening-round 67 at the WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai.
Haotong Li shot an eight-under-par 64 to lead Frenchman Victor Perez by a single shot.
Li, 24, had seven birdies, an eagle and a bogey to card his best round at Sheshan Golf International.
Englishman Matthew Fitzpatrick and defending champion Xander Schauffele are well-placed on six-under-par.