Increased venture capital investment in companies headquartered in China, coupled with the ongoing trade war spearheaded by the Trump Administration's tariffs, the first of which would take effect Friday and hit $34 billion worth of Chinese imports, has put China in the spotlight in 2018.
And due to the establishment of new Chinese investment funds, the latest and most notable being the SoftBank Vision Fund-like $15 billion China New Era Technology Fund, and the continuance of mega-rounds for Chinese companies, the country—and its tech community—is expected to stay there.
This year, among other notable accomplishments, Ant Financial closed the largest venture deal for a Chinese company since at least 2010—and likely ever—with its $14 billion Series C last month. The deal comes about a year before the Alibaba spinout expects to debut on the public markets. The round was nearly double Didi Chuxing's $7.3 billion round in 2016, the second-largest venture financing to come out of China in the last eight years.
Several newcomers have emerged this year to rake in large rounds and cement their status as a member of China's herd of unicorns, a group that includes the likes of news and information platform Toutiao, dockless bikeshare provider Ofo, and VIPkid, which offers an online English language learning service.
The first entry to China's unicorn class of 2018 was Beijing-headquartered Meicai. The startup, which helps farmers sell vegetables directly to restaurants, raised $450 million at a $2.8 billion valuation in a round co-led by Tiger Global Management and China Media Capital in January. Caocao Zhuanche, an electric vehicle sharing service based in Hangzhou, followed suit, closing a $156 million financing at a $1.6 billion valuation about a week later. And most recently, bitcoin mining hardware manufacturer Bitmain raised $400 million at a whopping $12 billion valuation in June. The Beijing-based company is backed by IDG Capital and Sequoia.
Here's a full list of the Chinese companies to garner billion-dollar valuations so far this year, per PitchBook data. Click the logos to access each company's profile.
Here's a look at the global list of 2018 unicorns.
Read more of our content on unicorns here.