Leveraged buyouts, growth capital, angel investments, and seed funding—these private transactions take place, largely out of the public’s eye, not only in Connecticut or Silicon Valley, but also in Beijing, Shenzhen, and Shanghai.
In 2016, China’s private equity (PE) and venture capital (VC) firms raised over $70 billion, more than 20% of total such funding globally. At the same time, these firms also deployed capital to the tune of $223 billion, accounting for more than 70% of global PE/VC investments.
As late comers, these Chinese firms have rapidly grown into formidable financiers. Most Chinese PE firms are particularly interested in products and services that can be commercialized and scaled up quickly in China. They tend to invest in areas that align with China’s shift to a more consumer-driven economy. Meanwhile, Chinese VCs have been active players globally, particularly in Silicon Valley. They have focused on areas such as artificial intelligence, Internet of Things, and electric vehicles.
Baidu, China’s largest search engine, has created strategic investment departments, Baidu Capital and Baidu Venture, to seek opportunities in artificial intelligence (AI) and virtual reality technologies. It has invested in AI research in Silicon Valley.
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