​China to pump $7.8 billion into startup VC fund

The Chinese government is set to pour 40 billion yuan, or AU$7.8 billion, into a venture capital fund aimed at supporting startups in emerging industries and fostering innovation in the private sector.

China is moving to establish a government venture capital investment fund worth 40 billion yuan (AU$7.8 billion).

The fund will be aimed at supporting new industries by boosting entrepreneurship and innovation, said China's State Council in a statement on the government's website.

The government released the statement following a State Council executive meeting chaired by China Premier Li Keqiang on Wednesday, during which the establishment of the new fund was decided.

According to the statement, the establishment of the new fund will focus on the initial stage of innovative enterprises, and the promotion of technology and market integration.

The Chinese government wants to focus on fostering transportation, communications, research and design, environmental protection, and the promotion of cultural and artistic exports, the statement said.

"We must improve the high-tech, high-value-added services," it said.

The move comes as the Chinese venture capital market, which has traditionally been relatively small, sees a burgeoning number of funds emerging locally.

There were 83 new venture capital funds set up in China in the first half of 2014, according to Reuters, citing market research by Zero21PO Capital, which estimates that there is around $6.76 billion worth of local VC funds.

Certainly, China's private sector has shown an increasing amount of interest in supporting technology startups, with Chinese search giant Baidu opening a third startup development centre in the northern Chinese municipal of Tianjin mid last year.

However, the Chinese government has also demonstrated its growing commitment to supporting startups and innovation in the country generally.

In November last year, China's Shanghai-Nanxiang government and IDG Capital Partners announced a partnership with Melbourne-based online crowdfunding platform Pozible to provide financial backing for Internet of Things (IoT) entrepreneurs, and to help hook up startups in the IoT space with investor capital.

The Chinese government has been focusing heavily on supporting the emerging IoT sector, according to Technology 50's Aliza Gao, and is planning to invest up to AU$600 billion in IoT technology by 2020.

"China is becoming the global leader in IoT. We're happy to support this new initiative, and encourage entrepreneurs to grow their tech with us," said Gao at the time.