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Beijing Municipal Government Proposes Measures to Support Tech Unicorns

In a bid to bolster the growth of technology unicorns and prepare them for both domestic and overseas public listings, the municipal government of Beijing has unveiled a series of measures. These measures are part of a shift from regulatory scrutiny to growth promotion, especially given the challenges posed by a sluggish economic recovery.

Eleven municipal agencies in Beijing, including technology promotional agencies, the development and reform commission, and finance and market regulation bureaus, have collaborated to devise the "Ten Measures for Unicorns."

Unicorns, typically start-ups valued at over $1 billion, have become a significant part of China's tech landscape, with notable examples like TikTok-owner ByteDance and fast fashion company Shein.

The comprehensive policy package aims to address the pressing needs of unicorns in areas such as talent acquisition, marketing, innovation, fundraising, and public listings, among others. The package also emphasizes cross-agency collaboration to identify and support tech unicorns, particularly those involved in "core technology" sectors.

The measures include creating a more "tolerant and cautious" regulatory environment and fast-tracking applications for unicorns seeking listings on the Beijing Stock Exchange, which was established in mid-2021 to cater to innovative small- and medium-sized enterprises. This move is intended to reduce the time required for public listings, which has been a significant hurdle for many companies.

Additionally, the measures offer generous financing options, including up to 100 million yuan ($13.7 million) in financing for firms working on "projects of national strategic importance" related to original innovation and key technologies. This financing includes a combination of venture debt and direct investments through collaborations between financial institutions and venture capital funds.

These measures come at a time when venture capital flows to China have declined, partly due to geopolitical tensions between the US and China, which have led to sanctions on Chinese tech firms.

To stimulate sustained growth, Beijing authorities plan to encourage state-owned enterprises and leading firms in the city to engage with unicorns and explore potential business opportunities. They also intend to provide computing power support for artificial intelligence (AI) companies, a strategic sector where China has a significant presence.

These initiatives reflect Beijing's commitment to supporting the growth and innovation of tech unicorns as they play a vital role in China's tech ecosystem and economic development.


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