China now has 202 unicorns, says report

Sequoia Capital is the most successful unicorn breeder

credit: DFIC

China now has 202 unicorns, or startups valued at least USD 1 billion. More than 72% of Chinese unicorns are based in Beijing, Shanghai and Hangzhou, according to a new report published by Hurun Research Institute on Tuesday.

“The number of unicorns in China has exceeded 200, almost ten times the number in India. The report suggests China has also overtaken the US in terms of the number of unicorns. A recent report by CB Insights pegs the number of US unicorns at 147.

Ant Financial tops the unicorn list with an RMB 1 trillion (almost USD 150 billion) valuation, ByteDance and Didi tailing behind with RMB 500 billion (almost USD 75 billion) and RMB 300 billion (44 billion) valuations respectively, according to the report. Beijing, the heartland of Chinese tech startups, has 82 unicorns with a total valuation of RMB 20.5 trillion. Shanghai has 45 with a total valuation of RMB 858 billion and Hangzhou, Ant Financial’s headquarter, has 19 with nearly RMB 1.3 trillion.

Most Chinese unicorns are found in the internet services, e-commerce, internet finance, medicare, entertainment, artificial intelligence, and logistics industries. While 53% of these 202 unicorns are at least 7 years old, 22% were founded less than 5 years ago.

Sequoia Capital is the most successful unicorn breeder of all – the VC firm has invested in 53 unicorns. The runner-ups are Tencent and IDG, each having invested in 31 and 25 unicorns respectively.