Six of the world’s ten largest unicorns — startups worth more than $1 billion — are headquartered in China, as the country aims to become the world leader in innovation.
Ant Group, the fintech arm of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, ranks as the world’s largest unicorn with a valuation of $150 billion on the back of its planned initial public offering (IPO) in Shanghai and Hong Kong, according to the Hurun Global Unicorn Index 2020 released by Shanghai-based publishing group Hurun Report on Tuesday.
ByteDance claimed the second spot with a valuation of $80 billion despite a recent Indian ban on its flagship app TikTok. The app is also under fire in the U.S. with President Trump threatening to terminate the app’s U.S. operations if it is not sold by mid-September.
Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing came in third with a valuation of $55 billion. The company is expanding its footprint across the globe and testing its autonomous taxi service as part of ongoing efforts to build a smart transportation system.
The other three Chinese unicorns breaking into the top 10 list are peer-to-peer online lending platform Lufax, TikTok rival Kuaishou and Alibaba’s logistics affiliate Cainiao.
China is home to 227 unicorns, six less than in the U.S., meaning that the two countries account for a combined 78% of the world’s 586 known unicorns based on valuations at the end of March, said Hurun Report.
“The U.S. and China continue to dominate with nearly 80% of the world’s known unicorns, despite representing only 40% of the world’s GDP and a quarter of the world’s population,” Hurun Report chairman Rupert Hoogewerf said. “The rest of the world needs to wake up to providing an ecosystem that allows unicorns to flourish,” he added.
When it comes to cities, Beijing is home to a greater percentage of unicorns — 16% — than any other city in the world. The Chinese capital is followed by San Francisco with 12% and Shanghai with 8%, according to Hurun Report.
Contact reporter Ding Yi (firstname.lastname@example.org)