Tech China Post 52 - State of Emerging Technologies and Venture Capital in China: 2017

© Tech China Post, Joyce Shen (@JoyceJShen)

The biggest 2017 theme in technology in China is talent.

China has always been strong in mathematics and science. Starting in the first grade, students are conditioned to be good with math. When students take the nerve wracking university entrance exam, each of them has to declare his or her concentration orientation for the next four years as either “English, Law, Arts” or “Mathematics, Sciences, and Engineering.”

Since 2015, averaging across reported statistics across major provinces, more than 85% of the top quartile students graduating high school have declared math, science, and engineering (officially categorized collectively as the “sciences”) as their primary academic concentrations as they prepare to enter universities. In China, graduating high school students are required to declare their academic concentration at the time of taking once-a-year college entrance exam.

Talent is a tablestake in building a strong tech ecosystem and innovation and tech-enabled economy. Not only is China cultivating and growing massive amount of math, science, and engineering talent domestically and attracting talent around the world to China, in 2017, we see emerging tech giants such as Baidu and Alibaba aggressively building up talent abroad through global research labs.

2016 signaled the rise of technology as a major focus for the Chinese government and private sectors.

2017 marked the clear acceleration of technology as strategic focus for the country. From government initiatives to academic research to corporate activities to venture capital investments, there are no signs of China slowing down in making her a tech powerhouse in the years to come.

Chinese government issued official guidance on blockchain, artificial intelligence, quantum computing, and invested in for-profit and non-profit organizations to establish strategic relationships with high-tech countries such as Israel.

Tech venture capital investments, span consumer and enterprise and across investment stages from seed to growth to late stage, reached more than $32B. E-commerce, fintech, automotives, autonomous vehicles, and artificial intelligence topped thematic areas that received the most funding.

In the follow-up reports, we will provide deeper analysis in some of the areas so stay updated.