xi's moments

US tech accelerator pins hopes on nation's rapid strides

By Cheng Yu | China Daily | Updated: 2018-11-27 10:55

Saeed Amidi, founder and global CEO of Plug and Play. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Innovation is developing faster in China than anywhere else in the world, providing a fertile ground for both Chinese and foreign startups to grow, according to top industry leaders.

"China is now the fastest-growing market for us. Its innovation system is truly developing with an unprecedented speed," said Saeed Amidi, founder and global CEO of Plug and Play, one of the world's largest technology startup accelerators.

As a newcomer to China, Amidi said Chinese startups have had an "amazing" rise in quality in the last year, even beyond his expectations.

"Even though our largest investment still comes from Silicon Valley, we are very confident about future growth in the Chinese market," said Amidi.

"To this end, we expect to increase our number of investments from around 80 per year to about 100 to 120 in the near future here in China," he added.

He made the remarks during the company's winter summit in Beijing earlier this month where eight Chinese industry leaders, including telecom carrier China Unicom and property leader Longfor Group, joined the company to co-build an innovative ecosystem.

Plug and Play, founded in 1998, is a Silicon Valley, US-headquartered company that has invested in over 700 startups including iconic ones such as online payment leader PayPal Holdings Inc and cloud service provider Dropbox Inc.

Having entered China in 2015, the firm aims to build an innovation ecosystem, where it cooperates with local partners to offer a wealth of resources and networks to fuel growth of Chinese and foreign startups.

"From our observation, the business-to-business market is still at its initial stage in China, which will provide us with an opportunity to grow," said Amidi.

Xu Jieping, CEO of Plug and Play China, agreed, saying that the Chinese market has tended to be more rational in the past few years.

"Chinese investors are more cautious about investment. They no longer chase those hotbeds but start to think about business sustainable in the long term," said Xu.

Sensing such opportunities, Xu said that the company is leveraging its international resources to connect good corporations to the right partners for better growth.

"Some companies will have concerns due to a downturn in the current international environment, but China is still a promising market," said Xu.

As evidence, he pointed to the many multinational companies still actively preparing to enter China, despite not yet receiving a full license.

"Such an urgent need reflects high expectation and great attention from foreign companies toward the Chinese market," he added.

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