China is expanding its program that supports tech startups in an effort to promote self-sufficiency and challenge the US in crucial technologies, such as semiconductor chips and biotech, reports Bloomberg. The Industry watchdog is ready to name about 3,000 state-level “little giant” startups this year to spur local innovation, Minister of Industry and Information Technology Xiao Yaqing said in a media briefing in Beijing on Monday.
That would bring the total number to almost 8,000, marking the most aggressive expansion yet for what is Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s latest attempt to add to China’s tech capabilities amid a fierce competition with the US.
The designation allows startups to enjoy incentives while signaling to investors and employees that the companies enjoy Beijing’s special endorsement. The innovation capabilities as well as sales and profitability of little giants has “clearly improved” compared with other companies, Xiao said.