Israel's top VCs can't help but be in awe of China's tech progress. Even the most ardent advocates of Israel as the leading startup nation in the world are impressed with the speed, agility and increasing quality of China innovation today as this fast-rising economic power moves from a manufacturing base to what could be the world's tech tower within 10 years. The next, new thing could very well come from China and be more original than any new VR, fintech or mobile app play from Silicon Valley, agreed top VCs speaking at
Silicon Dragon Tel Aviv 2017
iQiyi.com, the Netflix-like video streaming arm of Chinese online search engine giant
Baidu, has raised $1.5 billion in new funds to compete with rivals from
Alibaba in an ongoing battle for market share in the entertainment sector. Baidu invested $300 million in IQiyi via a convertible bond issuance. Other backers include
Hillhouse Capital, Boyu Capital, IDG Capital and
Sequoia Capital China.
Founded in 2010, iQiyi is putting the new capital toward further development of video streaming and original content, self-produced dramas and virtual reality shows. The site past 20 million paid subscribers last July.
All three major Internet leaders -
Baidu, Alibaba and
Tencent - are investing aggressively in China's booming video streaming market, with Alibaba-backed
Youku Tudo and
Tencent Video trailing the market leading iQiyi. The video streaming market is forecast to reach to reach $5 billion by the end of 2017.
China could very well be the new gateway for Southeast Asian startups. That's according to an article in
, which singles out Shenzhen-based accelerator
as a force driving this trend. Chinaccelerator, which runs a three-month in-house program for start-ups to get going with localization, market strategy, product customization, customer acquisition, retention, and monetization.
, a partner at
Kung Fu Data
, has an interesting take on China e-commerce: Why Chinese Loves and Hates E-commerce. His post has some good lessons for the uninitiated. The top dislikes were about difficulties with language, payment and shipping times. Read the post
Rui Ma leaving 500 Startups to launch a fund of funds, partner
Edith Yeung is stepping in to take charge of the startup investors' China activities. She plans to work with the investment firm's portfolio companies across Greater China and within the U.S., helping them with market entry strategies and money-raising. She also will be deal sourcing and raising money for 500 Startups, which started back in 2010 from the San Francisco area and currently in many leading tech hubs with 1700 tech firms in its portfolio.