China’s NDRC launches 20 venture funds

The state planning agency has launched the high-technology focused funds together with seven provincial governments. No financial details were disclosed.

China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) has launched 20 venture funds in conjunction with seven of the country’s provincial governments.

The seven provincial governments are Beijing, Jilin, Shanghai, Anhui, Hunan, Chongqing and Shenzhen, according to a NDRC statement. The funds will primarily invest in the information technology, life sciences, new energy and environmental sectors, the statement noted. No details on the size of the funds have been disclosed.

The venture capital funds have been set up to encourage investment in high-technology industries as well as to promote innovation among such companies, the NDRC said. The NDRC’s main functions include formulating and implementing macroeconomic policies, guiding and promoting economic restructuring and monitoring and adjusting economic performance.

The fund launches are yet another step in the Chinese government's ongoing efforts to encourage investment in small technology companies. Another such step has been the setting up of a Nasdaq-style stock exchange, ChiNext, in the Southern city of Shenzhen. The stock exchange was conceived to give small and medium-szied companies access to capital and catalyse early-stage investment from start-up investors such as venture capital funds. Trading began on the ChiNext began last Friday, with 28 firms listed so far.