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China’s Venture Capital Crunch: Funding Decline Spurs Overseas Shift

China’s venture capital market is experiencing a sharp decline in investment funding. This downturn is attributed to global trends, such as rising U.S. interest rates, as well as specific factors like U.S.-China economic decoupling and a sluggish real estate market. As a result, some investors and entrepreneurs are shifting their focus to overseas markets like Japan.

The Hong Kong Stock Exchange recently celebrated a rare high-profile IPO by XtalPi, an AI-driven drug discovery company. However, despite efforts to attract innovative companies, Hong Kong’s IPO market is struggling, with predictions of falling to 10th place globally in the first half of 2024.

Venture capital investment in China dropped 66% in 2023 compared to its peak in 2021, with foreign investments declining by nearly 90%. This reflects the impact of U.S.-China tensions and increased U.S. scrutiny of investments in sensitive technologies.

Chinese startups are facing difficulties securing funding, with local government and private equity investments becoming scarce. Many are turning to tech giants like Tencent and Alibaba or seeking opportunities abroad.

The current situation is pushing both startups and investors to explore international markets. Japan, in particular, is attracting interest from Chinese entrepreneurs and tech talent. While China’s venture capital industry is not considered to be in decline due to its strong talent base and government support in strategic sectors, the ongoing shift towards overseas markets could reshape the future landscape of the industry.

Source: Nikkei Chinese, June 21, 2024