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Incubator Plug and Play to ramp up efforts in nation

By Ouyang Shijia | China Daily | Updated: 2021-11-04 10:00
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Leading Silicon Valley incubator Plug and Play is looking to expand in China over the next five years, eyeing huge innovation opportunities in the world's second-largest economy.

The global innovation platform, which is betting big on China's high-speed growth in innovation and digital transformation, is committed to long-term development in China and will continue to increase investments in its blossoming technological sector, said Xu Jieping, CEO of Plug and Play China.

"Looking ahead, we want to be long-term companions for companies seeking openness and innovation. We want to be the long-term builders for urban innovation ecosystems. We also want to be the long-term enablers to empower our tech startup partners," Xu told a recent reception in Beijing to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the Plug and Play China program.

In the next five years, Plug and Play China will continue to work on boosting innovation for enterprises, strengthen innovation cooperation with cities, and build an international innovation exchange platform with global partners, said Xu.

"We will mainly focus on four major business-solutions for innovation and entrepreneurship in large enterprises, urban solutions in fields such as industrial upgrading and international cooperation, solutions for striving startups, and investment on technologies in China," Xu added.

Officially established in Silicon Valley in 2006, Plug and Play successfully invested and incubated numerous internet giants including Google. After years of development, it currently owns more than 30 innovation ecosystem centers and offices in 18 countries.

In 2016, Plug and Play came to China, headquartered in Beijing and dedicated to leveraging its global resources and boosting innovation in the country.

So far, Plug and Play China has served nearly 100 leading enterprises in various sectors, incubated and accelerated more than 4,000 startups, and invested in more than 150 tech startups which include ApplyBoard and AutoX in China.

"China is going through an incredible growth speed, and innovation, entrepreneurship and digital transformation is in the center of all their growth," Saeed Amidi, CEO of Plug and Play, said during the reception via video link.

"We feel the China opportunity is incredible, and we want to connect all of our corporate partners, all the startups and entrepreneurs and all the universities in the same platform to create incredible momentum," he said. "We love to connect all the team members and entrepreneurs to our offices in Japan, Germany, France, US Silicon Valley, to name a few. We feel as these offices connect with each other in different verticals like financial services, mobility, smart city and … sustainability, magic can happen."

He said as the technology can change the environment and create more sustainable growth, Plug and Play will help take the leading technology from one nation to another and spur the growth of such startups globally.

Lin Jianhua, deputy head of Beijing's Haidian district, spoke highly of Plug and Play's commitment to the Chinese market, saying the future development of Plug and Play China will help promote the upgrading of the entrepreneurship service system of Haidian.

"We will ramp up efforts to optimize the business environment," Lin said. "We will work with third party organizations such as Plug and Play as well as investors and enterprises to create a better innovation ecosystem. And we will soon introduce a series of policies to support innovation and entrepreneurship."

As a region with the most intensive innovation and intellectual resources in China, Beijing's Haidian district registered around 850 billion yuan ($132 billion) in GDP in 2020, accounting for 23.6 percent of the total GDP in Beijing, according to Lin.

As of the end of August, Haidian has 10,604 national high-tech enterprises, 48 unicorn companies and 247 listed firms, official data showed.

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