“Beijing is a vibrant city for venture capital and startups. With a large pool of talent from top universities, the presence of multiple technology corporations, and access to capital, it has ample resources to help startups to grow.”
Heavily impacted by COVID-19 restrictions, economists estimate China’s economy grew by just 3% in 2022. With the country open for business again, Beijing’s vibrant technology and startup ecosystem is rebounding from the slump. China-focused venture capitalists have near-record levels of capital on hand — an estimated $105 billion as of March 2022 — and deals continue to take place.
Beijing’s strong support for SMEs was a recurring theme in the government’s 14th Five Year Plan (2021-2025). Plans include increased investment in technology innovation, development of local talent, attracting foreign experts, and enhancing intellectual property protection laws. China is building Huairou Science City in the northeastern suburbs of Beijing to provide laboratories and infrastructure for advanced research. In March 2022, five experimental stations opened to users. More than 50 applications have been received from domestic and foreign teams, according to the Huairou Park of the Institute of Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences.
In October 2022 the 15th China Smart City Conference took place. Venture Capital Summit 2023 will be held in October 2023. The International Conference on Information Network and Computer Communications is set for the same month. In April 2022, digital interactive content development platform Cocos Technology closed a $50 million Series B. In June 2022, Robotics company MegaRobo Technologies closed a $300 million Series C.
Ecosystem by the Numbers
AI, Big Data & Analytics
Beijing had an estimated 1,048 major AI companies as of October 2022, approximately 29% of the national total. The city has more than 40,000 professionals in core AI technologies. In October AI startup Bishi Technology raised a $27.7 million Series C.
Beijing topped the ranking of 50 cities around the globe for the fourth time in the Global Fintech Hub Report 2022. Tsinghua University PBC School of Finance and Tsinghua University National Institute of Financial Research co-organize the annual China Financial Research Conference with the ultimate goal of encouraging financial innovation in China. The FinTech World Forum took place here in May 2023. In February, corporate spend provider Fenbeitong raised a $140 million Series C+ round, reaching unicorn status.
Beijing has three Life Sciences clusters: Zhongguancun Life Sciences Park, China Bio-medicine Park, and Beijing Economic-Technological Development Area. Sinovac Biotech, a biopharmaceutical product provider, began construction of a new vaccine quality research center here in 2022, and a new biomedical imaging facility was unveiled in Huairou Science City in the same year. In January 2022 synthetic biology firm Bluepha raised a $235 million Series B. In July 2022, Helixon raised a $75 million Series A round for its AI drug-development platform. In August 2022, biotech Sironax closed a $200 million Series B.
Reasons to Move Your Startup to Beijing
In 2022 China aimed to enroll at least 1.4 million students in technical colleges, according to the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security. Officials in Beijing expect the number of university graduates to reach approximately 12 million in 2023.
Access to Funding
The Research Fund for International Scientists (RFIS) supports international scientists with foreign citizenship who conduct basic research in China. The program also aims to encourage collaboration and exchange between Chinese and international scientists.
Infrastructure for Advanced Research
The Beijing International Data Exchange platform incorporates 333 data-trading entities controlling 773 million transactions. The Beijing High-level Autonomous Driving Demonstration Zone is being expanded to cover 500 square kilometers (193 square miles). A pilot computing and design system is managing a million square meters (10.76 million square feet) in the Haidian District. Other projects, including digital community governance models, industry-research integrated Blockchain systems, and a metaverse experience center, are under development.
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