Early stage companies in China for the first time since 2010 received more venture capital financing in the first half of 2018 than new companies in the U.S., according to a study by Preqin and INSEAD Global Private Equity Initiative.
Chinese firms received a total of $55.8 billion in the first half compared with $42.2 billion for U.S. companies in the same period, the study, released Tuesday, showed.
China-based startups received $64.4 billion in venture capital for all of 2017, compared to $71.8 billion for U.S. companies. In 2010, venture capital firms invested $27.9 billion in U.S.-based startups vs. $4.6 billion in Chinese early stage companies.
Almost 51% of the venture capital-backed companies valued at $1 billion or more — known as unicorns — are based in the U.S. Still, 31% of unicorns worldwide, and five of the 10 largest, are based in China. Ant Financial Services Group, with a valuation $150 billion as of July 1, is the largest unicorn in the world, followed by San Francisco-based Uber Technologies Inc., valued at $71.5 billion as of the same date.