China’s hardware startups are getting more venture capital funding this year, helped by Beijing’s effort to drive investments in strategically important technology as well as its crackdown on the internet sector.
Venture firms pumped $5.4 billion into hardware startups such as chip producers and robotics makers across Greater China during the first half of the year, according to a report by Seattle-based data provider PitchBook on Tuesday. That’s already surpassed the $5.1 billion raised in total last year and is almost quadruple the $1.4 billion total for 2016.
That’s likely to provide a boost to China’s efforts to drive spending and research in key industries like cutting-edge chipmaking. The country enshrined its ambitions to achieve tech self-sufficiency in its latest five-year economic blueprint published earlier this year, while one of President Xi Jinping’s most trusted aides has been tapped to lead the chip battle against the U.S. The sector also looks like a safer bet, as Beijing’s campaign to rein in internet firms in areas from e-commerce to ride-hailing and online education wipes out billions of dollars in market values.
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