Chinese venture capital investments reached a record high of $130.6 billion in 2021, despite a sweeping governmental crackdown on the technology industry that slowed investments and sent valuations into a nosedive, reports Caixin. The record total was 50% higher than the $86.7 billion reached in 2020.
The performance is stunning given the devastation wrought on the industry’s marquee players. Alibaba, Tencent, ByteDance and ride-hailing provider Didi Global were all battered by regulations over the past year. The entire online tutoring sector, once a hot spot for venture dollars, was forced to turn non-profit.
Yet entrepreneurs and venture firms pivoted to new opportunities with startling speed. They’ve turned away from softer internet businesses and toward hard-core technologies like semiconductors, robotics and enterprise software. The amount of money going into biotechnology hit $14.1 billion last year, up ten-fold from 2016.