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China and “Techno-Nationalism” to Housing the Most Unicorns in the World

DIGITAL VENTURES July 20, 2018 10:40 PM


Speaking of influential tech nations, China should make the top of the list for its advanced development and anticipation to become the world’s leader in technology. Many tech firms and startups in China undergo leaping growth and turn to successful startup unicorn. Also, China is known for the title the “Silicon Valley of Asia”. China continues to grow with its regulatory structure to embed the Techno-Nationalism concept. This is one of China’s strategy in becoming the world’s leader in technology.



  • Understanding Techno-Nationalism 

We hear that Google is blocked in China while Baidu is the Chinese Google or that Wechat is monopolizing the China market. China has created a new vocabulary which is Techno-Nationalism. It means understanding how technology affects the society and culture of a country. It is recognizing the significance of technology and how it is the basis of operations in the country that affects small business sectors to nation-scale projects. Also, this involves protecting and denying technology to be used outside of the country or allowing foreigners to benefit from the technology which is built for local use.

Technological Nationalists believe that research and its efficiency drive the country’s economy, sustainability, and prosperity. They emphasize local usage instead of exporting them to other countries or for foreigners.



  • With Techno-Nationalism, China aims to house 200 unicorn startups.

China encourages Techno-Nationalism and it hopes to have the highest number of unicorns (startups worth more than 1 billion USD) or startups registered in the country. China’s goal is having 200 startups so that they can become a country with the most startup unicorns in the world. Their strategies are as follow:

– The government encourages giant tech firms to register in the China stock market.

To support the idea, the Chinese government announced a plan to encourage Chinese tech firms who are registered in foreign stock markets to return to the motherland and register in the local stock market. This is done via a Chinese Depository Receipts scheme. This structure allows investors to indirectly acquire stocks of Chinese firms and Chinese tech firms who are registered in other countries can return and enter the China stock market. This scheme is expected to attract giant tech firms such as Baidu Alibaba Tencent or BAT and other players to return and enjoy the China stock market.  

– Encourage large corporates who are not yet listed to registered in the China stock market with simple terms.

Aside from the attempt to attract large tech firms back to the country, the Chinese government has announced measures to encourage large tech firms who are not listed in the stock market to enter the market under simple conditions. They are required to be worth no less than 20 billion RMB or around 100 billion THB and have an annual income of at least 3 billion RMB or 15 billion THB to be registered and IPO for the first time.

It is estimated that 30 Chinese unicorn startups have the qualifications and this scheme will surely attract them to register in the China stock market. This is another smart move by the government who is developing the tech business according to Techno-Nationalism concept

  • Get to know the top 3 Chinese unicorn startups.

Owing to China’s prompt plan to develop Chinese startups, the sector is undergoing leaping growth. Today, 89 Chinese unicorns have emerged within 5-6 year. Chinese has become quite influential in terms of startup development and rises as a competitor to USA’s Silicon Valley.

  1. Ant Financial Services Group – The world’s number 1 unicorn.

Ant Financial Services Group is a Chinese FinTech. They are the owner of Alipay, the world’s number 1 online payment platform. Ant Financial Services Group is an affiliate company of the Alibaba Group founded by famous businessman, Jack Ma. It has the most online transaction users in China and also of users around the world. Recently, it received series C funding at 14 billion USD and is becoming a unicorn startup receiving the highest funding in the world. This year, Ant Financial may be planning to become a listed company but hasn’t yet announced the location.


  1. Didi Chuxing, a taxi-hailing platform and Uber’s competitor.

DiDi Chuxing, a Chinese online car-hailing platform via smartphones similar to Uber. It was founded by Cheng Wei, a former Alibaba employee who decided to build his own startup. The success gave DiDi Chuxing a unicorn startup value that, in the China market, surpasses its global competitor, Uber. Didi Chuxing received funding from large corporates both in China and worldwide such as Apple, Alibaba, Softbank, Agoda,, and many more. Today, Didi Chuxing is worth 56 billion USD and is at the global top rank for its rapid development.


  1. Xiaomi – The world’s top 5 smartphone manufacturer startup.

Xiaomi is a startup and producer for smartphones, electronics, and applications. It is founded by Lei Jun, former CEO of Kingsoft and also known as the Steve Jobs of China. Xiaomi ranks at the global top 5 in the smartphones market share and is the developer of inexpensive, popular smartwatch that blends with youngsters’ lifestyle. In 2017, Xiaomi’s revenue increased 67% to 18 billion USD. Recently, Xiaomi announced its registration in the Hong Kong stock market and is expected to increase the company’s value to 100 billion USD.

From these case studies about Chinese startup and giant tech firms, we see that several famous corporates such as Ant Financial or Didi, haven’t issued IPO in China. This is a challenge for the Chinese government to attract these unicorns to register and issue IPO in the country. The Chinese government is famous for its support in the tech ecosystem as seen from how they drove China’s AI to the world top rank. Follow the DV Blog for more updates about this tech-powerful nation.