"Shanghai has an abundant pool of innovative and high quality talent that is highly receptive to diverse ideas. There is strong demand for this talent from both startups and corporations."
Shanghai may have centuries of culture behind it, but this Asian metropolis is looking to the future. Juniper Research ranked Shanghai as the world’s #1 Smart City for 2022, based on its transportation and infrastructure, energy and lighting, city management, technology, and urban connectivity.
As a global financial hub and location of one of the world’s busiest container ports, Shanghai is China’s gateway to the world. The city’s population of 24 million includes a large base of sophisticated and cosmopolitan consumers, as well as 250,000 expats. It is no surprise then that the city is a popular home base for foreign companies. Mercedes-Benz Group opened an R&D center in Shanghai in March 2022. The center, its second R&D facility in China, will focus on connectivity, automated driving, and big data. SMIC announced it will invest $8.87 billion to build a chip plant in Shanghai.
The Venture Capital World Summit was held in Shanghai in March 2022. MWC Shanghai, Asia’s most influential event for the connectivity industry, is scheduled to take place here in July. IEEE ICIT, one of the flagship conferences of the IEEE Industrial Electronics Society, will be held in the city in August. Non-profit Asian Association of Business Incubation (AABI) held its 2021 AABI Summit and Awards Ceremony in Shanghai in November 2021.
Notable recent funding rounds out of Shanghai include self-driving tech firm Zongmu’s ¥1 billion ($149 million) Series E, AI startup Pateo’s ¥300 million ($44.6 million) raise, and Mooe Robot’s ¥100 million ($14.9 million) Series B.
Ecosystem by the Numbers
Reasons to Move Your Startup to Shanghai
Enterprises registered in Shanghai or that have set up regional headquarters in Shanghai receive a startup subsidy of ¥5 million ($743,000). The subsidy is paid over three years in three installments of 40%, 30%, and 30%. Eligible recognized regional headquarters are also granted a three-year rent subsidy equal to 30% of the total rent. Multinationals with regional headquarters in Shanghai and an annual turnover of more than ¥500 million ($74.3 million) are entitled to an additional lump sum incentive, again paid over a three-year period.
Selected Startup Organizations
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