Almost 100 tech companies reached $1 billion valuation in China

Almost 100 tech companies reached a valuation of more than $1 billion in China last year, led by ecommerce and video-streaming services, according to an annual ranking of the country’s top tech businesses by Hurun. Hurun, which is best known for compiling an annual rich list, said China now had 186 tech start-ups worth more than $1 billion, led by the fintech Ant Financial, which is worth Rmb1 trillion ($148 billion). The fastest growing start-ups include ByteDance, whose offerings include the Toutiao news feed and short video-streaming Douyin; Tencent-backed short-video app Kuaishou; and Meicai, an online platform for farmers selling vegetables. All three saw their valuations rise by 400 per cent in the past year. The fastest growing sectors, in terms of valuation, were internet services, medical and health companies, and education. But Hurun’s data showed a sharp slowdown in the final quarter of last year, when just 11 companies saw their valuations hit the $1 billion mark. That compared with 86 over the previous three quarters… Sequoia led the ranks of backers, investing in 49 start-ups last year, up from 27 in 2017. Tencent and Alibaba, China’s acquisitive tech giants, also played a key role. Tencent invested in 30 this year, while Alibaba backed 17. 
Louise Lucas