Born in China, Dai did some modeling in Japan and Shanghai. While in Shanghai he was talent-spotted by MediaCorp and moved to Singapore to sign the contract. His big break came in 2008 when he played Yamamoto Yousuke, a Japanese photographer, in the blockbuster series The Little Nyonya and earned a nomination for the Best Supporting Actor at the 2009 Star Awards. This role was supposed to go to Elvin Ng who was injured just before filming.
Dai acted the first time with Elvin Ng in Together and second time in No Limits. Dai acted his first antagonist role in Breakout. This is the third time Dai acted with Elvin Ng. Then, 8 Days touted them as the male version of Zoe Tay and Fann Wong. They appeared together in several cover page of 8 Days and I magazine.
In 2011, he briefly returned to China to film a co-production drama Precious. He played Ling Zhi Chu in Precious. Qi Yuwu replaced him, who was originally selected to play the role of Mo Li Guang, as the male lead in the drama series A Song to Remember. In 2012, Dai acted in Poetic Justice, his last MediaCorp project before his contract ended in 2013, where he was coupled with Rui En for the first time.
As of 29 July 2013, Dai officially changed his name from Dai Yangtian to Dai Xiangyu. In the same year, Dai left the Singapore entertainment industry. After his departure, Romeo Tan replaced him, who was originally selected to play the role of Hong Khee Leong, as the male lead in the drama series Sudden, where he was coupled with Rui En for the second time.
In 2019, he did the remake of Singapore’s most successful TV drama series ever, reprising the same role that shot him to fame in The Little Nyonya with casts Xiang Yun & Jeffrey Xu.