Business / Companies

Entrepreneurs' future bright in China

By LIA ZHU in San Francisco ( Updated: 2016-06-27 11:01

Entrepreneurs' future bright in China

Feng Deng, founder of Northern Light Venture Capital. [Photo by LIA ZHU/]

China's dynamic development is fostering strong entrepreneurship in the country as it undergoes the transition from a manufacturing-based to a consumption-driven economy, said a panel of Chinese business leaders.

"Opportunity is definitely what makes it so exciting -- what is happening and what will happen in China," Feng Deng, founder of Northern Light Venture Capital, told participants at the just-concluded Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) at Stanford University.

The 2016 GES attracted more than 700 entrepreneurs and 300 investors from around the world with the goal of building prosperous communities through fostering entrepreneurship around the world. A session focusing on China's current climate for entrepreneurship was held on the sidelines of the gathering.

"China has been so dynamic in the last 11 years, so many new ideas and companies are created every day -- not only on the technology side but also the whole environment, including government regulations," said Deng, who returned to China in 2005 and founded his venture capital firm.

He identified three driving forces in the next five to 10 years that will attract investment to China. The changes in domestic consumption and the lifestyles of people, especially the fast growing middle-class, will be the largest driving force to nurture entrepreneurship and innovation, Deng said.

He used high-speed railway as a good indication of the fact that the middle-class lifestyle has been upgraded. "People were suspicious (of the profitability) but three years after the railway was built, it's hard to buy a first-class ticket," he said. "Even if the economy is slowing down, consumer spending continues to grow."

Another example of Chinese people's changing lifestyle is the growth of entertainment industry. "Box office revenues grow 30 percent to 40 percent every year," he said.

"Internet Plus", or traditional industry combining with the internet, is another driving force, according to Deng. He said his firm had just invested in an online education project that linked US and Canadian elementary school teachers to Chinese children from 5 to 12 years old through online video classes.

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