Beyond the legendary success stories of Alibaba and Tencent, China has developed into a vibrant, competitive ecosystem of innovative technology startups. That comes as no surprise, given the country’s fast-rising economy and consumer society, vast pool of world-class talent, and quick adoption of new technologies. CompassList China, our first chapter, was born to provide insights and the context of China’s startup and tech scene to the rest of the world. Through unraveling the local cultural, social, economic and business landscapes, we reveal how China’s startup economy has boomed amid the complexities of a giant nation, home to some 1.4 billion people today.



Alibaba-backed SHBJ is one of China’s earliest and largest B2B short-distance delivery startups, outperforming the sector in productivity, speed and cost.

Like Sweden's Ikea, Smart Bees designs stylish furniture to maximize living spaces for families in big cities.


Zhang Wei co-founded Shiheng Tech in 2017. The COO of Shiheng had worked at Tesco (China) from 2005 to 2015. He started his career with the supermarket chain as a purchasing assistant for home appliances and climbed up the ladder to become Tesco's purchasing director. In 2015, he founded the sports community and e-commerce platform COSPO. 

Yu Jianjun

CEO and Co-founder of Ximalaya

Serial entrepreneur Yu Jianjun founded three businesses before co-founding his most successful startup Ximalaya, China’s largest online audio sharing and service platform. After graduating with a masters in mechanical engineering from Xi’an Jiaotong University, Yu began his entrepreneurial journey by building virtual city maps using 3D modeling technology. His second business, City Bar, was sold to Baidu.  


With the aim of supporting Hong Kong to develop into a world-class tech innovation center and cooperating with Guangdong and Macau enterprises to support the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, large-sized mainland enterprises operating in Hong Kong, Hong Kong companies, mainland private firms and new economy enterprises initiated Greater Bay Area Homeland Development Fund in 2018. With a total capital volume of over HK$100bn, it is managed by Greater Bay Area Homeland Investments. The fund will also provide help to enterprises in the Greater Bay Area to export products to overseas markets.

Launched in 2018, Everbright New Economy USD Fund (New Economy Fund) is under the umbrella of China Everbright, a Hong Kong-listed financial conglomerate. The New Economy Fund started from an inaugural fund of US$483m, with US$150m from Bahrain-based asset manager Investcorp. It invests mainly in the e-commerce, smart retail and artificial intelligence sectors. In November 2019, China Everbright and Investcorp announced they will co-manage Investcorp New Economy Fund I and explore the opportunity to establish a successor private equity fund, jointly managed by the two parties, that will target China’s tech sector.


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