China

Beijing #4

Beijing's greatest innovation asset lies in its preeminent education resources. Among Beijing's yearly 200,000 college graduates, many enter the startup scene one way or another, making this city a leading innovation highland as today.

Jordan Zhu
Senior Manager at Innoway in the Global Incubation Department
#1 Global Ecosystem: Knowledge
#2 Global Ecosystem: Performance
#2 Global Ecosystem: Talent & Experience

Highlights

Silicon Valley might be the most famous of all startup hubs, but in 2020 Beijing was actually the ecosystem with the most unicorn companies with 93 local startups valued at $1 billion or more, including the two most valued unicorns in the world, Alibaba spin off ANT Group (valued in April at around $200 billion) and TikTok parent company ByteDance (valued at $140 billion). Though the coronavirus pandemic rattled the Chinese economy, particularly in early 2020, pandemic related disruptions also provided opportunities for Beijing based startups. With students pivoting to remote listening, China’s online education companies saw rapid growth. Yuanfudao, an EdTech giant based in Beijing, raised US$1 billion in funding. Xiaomawang, a coding education company, raised US$21.2 million. Other Chinese startups were able to thrive thanks to changing trends in consumer spending and habits driven by the pandemic. Beijing’s Calorie Technology, which operates the Keep Fitness app, surged to more than US$1 billion in value in May 2020 and boasts 200 million registered users, for instance.

Ecosystem by the numbers

TOTAL EARLY STAGE FUNDING
$10.8 bn
GLOBAL AVG.
$548 m
ECOSYSTEM VALUE
$445 bn
GLOBAL AVG.
$13.68 bn
MEDIAN SEED ROUND
$1455 k
GLOBAL AVG.
$480 k
MEDIAN SERIES A ROUND
$4.3 m
GLOBAL AVG.
$3 m
SOFT. ENGINEER SALARY
$42 k
GLOBAL AVG.
$44 k

Sub-sector Strengths

AI, Big Data & Analytics

Beijing’s startup ecosystem is ruled by AI, big data and analytics, and the city houses 1,070 AI companies, more than a quarter of China’s total. Beijing tech hub Zhongguancun is home to 10 AI labs and 9,000 tech companies, including Baidu, Sina Corp and Lenovo. AI-​based business risk control company Shumei Technology raised a total of $208 million in funding over 2 rounds, the last of which was a Series D round of $135 million in April.

Fintech

Beijing is a global fintech powerhouse that is home to 13 public Fintech companies worth $16.35 billion in total and more than 60 highly well-funded Fintech startups, including JD DIgits and Baidu’s fintech arm Du Xiaoman Finance, which provides short-term loans and other investment services.

Reasons to move your startup to Beijing

Funding Activity

Beijing is home to the greatest concentration of commercial bank headquarters in China. Incubators and accelerator programs are also plentiful and include both private and government programs. The Zhongguancun Science Park in Beijing is home to many of them, including Huailongsen International Enterprise Incubator, Innovation Works, Beijing Zhongguancun Shijingshan Science Park, Huailongsen International Enterprise Incubator, and Bo Ao Liang Chuang. Together these programs serve 3,000 startups annually, including both local and international companies.

Startup Community

Startup Genome
Partners

91Maker
China Accelerator
Creative Young Community
Cyzone Innoway BJ
Dao Ventures
DayDay Up
Legend Star
Magma Partners
Makes-global
Noodle & Meetup
Plug and Play China
Sinavation Ventures
Startup Grind
Suhehui
Technode
Ventures Lab

Get connected

Are you interested in diving deeper into this ecosystem? Drop us a message. Our Ambassadors and Partners can plug you in.