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China to expand opening-up of VC investment

Xinhua | June 20, 2024

China will expand the opening up of venture capital (VC) investment by revising regulations and boosting accessibility for foreign investors, according to a raft of measures unveiled by the State Council, as the country aims to develop patient capital.

The country will revise the regulations on the administration of foreign-invested VC enterprises to facilitate foreign investors in engaging in VC within the territory.

Support will be provided to international professional investment institutions and teams to establish renminbi funds within the territory, and leverage their investment experience and comprehensive service advantages.

Developing VC is a key step to promoting the virtuous cycle of technology, industry and finance, per the guidelines issued by the State Council General Office.

Encouraging long-term capital to flow into VC investment is essential to fostering innovation, industrial growth and financial stability. To this end, China will support insurance institutions in investing in VC funds based on market principles.

Efforts will be made to deepen pilot projects facilitating cross-border financing, and to optimize foreign exchange management under foreign direct investment (FDI) further, making it easier for VC institutions and other business entities to handle foreign exchange transactions.

China also aims to expand the scope of its pilot mechanism for Qualified Foreign Limited Partnerships (QFLP), and guide foreign VC institutions to conduct cross-border investment in a regulated manner.

Additionally, efforts will be made to promote and regulate the overseas investment of Chinese VC institutions.

At a high-level meeting in April, China's policymakers highlighted the need to develop patient capital, a term that is rarely used at such meetings and describes long-term investment eyeing sustainable growth.

Efforts will be made to bolster new, quality productive forces and emerging industries while actively developing VC and patient capital, according to a meeting of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee on April 30.

During a State Council executive meeting in early June, China studied policy measures to boost the high-quality development of VC investment.

"The venture capital industry is transitioning from its previous rapid development phase to a new phase of reshuffling, reconstruction and adjustment," said Lin Haojun, chairman of the Guangdong Technology Financial Group, one of China's earliest VC institutions.

To fully leverage the crucial role of VC in supporting technological innovation, China will guide VC to stabilize and increase investment in key areas, and promote the growth of technology-based companies to provide strong support for the realization of high-level technological self-reliance, among other innovation prowess goals, according to the new measures.

For technology-based enterprises that achieve breakthroughs in critical core technologies, the country will establish green channels for financing through listings, bond issuance, and mergers and acquisitions. This will also improve the efficiency and quality of issuance reviews within the National Equities Exchange and Quotations (NEEQ), also known as the Beijing Stock Exchange.

To prevent improper policy measures that could negatively impact VC, a consultation mechanism for major policies will be established. Before introducing significant policies related to the VC industry and its institutions, relevant government departments must conduct consistency evaluations of macro policy orientations as required.

Last year, China's VC and private equity markets saw a total of 8,322 new funds established, with the subscribed scale of new funds reaching 614.06 billion U.S. dollars, according to a report issued by an institute under ChinaVenture.

On Wednesday, China's top securities regulator rolled out new measures to reform its Nasdaq-style Science and Technology Innovation Board (STAR) market further, serving sci-tech innovation in an improved manner and promoting the development of new quality productive forces.

Wu Qing, chairman of the China Securities Regulatory Commission, said, "Only by creating a favorable atmosphere that encourages innovation and tolerates failure can we promote the development of new quality productive forces."