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China private market slows amid Covid-19
Four semiconductor companies join ’10 billion club’ as capital raised continues to grow
31 Mar 2021 | Janette Chen

The number of funding deals in China’s venture capital and private equity market fell in 2020 amid the Covid-19 pandemic, but the amount of capital raised continued to grow. Information technology (IT), biotech, healthcare, internet, semiconductor and electronic devices attracted most of the investment last year.

According to a report by Zero2IPO this week, the growth of China’s private market slowed down as a result of the pandemic, and most of the activities, especially the bigger deals, happened during the second half of last year.

A total of 7,583 funding deals were recorded, a drop of 7.9% from 2019, while the total amount of capital raised increased by 14% to 870.05 billion yuan (US$132.77 billion), according to the report.

Themes such as technology, import substitution, healthcare, and corporate services were popular among investors. Sector-wise, 1,845 fundings were recorded in the IT sector, totalling 112.93 billion yuan; 1,422 in the biotech and healthcare sector, 177.09 billion yuan; 1,008 in the internet sector, 124.93 billion yuan; and 990 in the semiconductor and electronic devices sector, 47.37 billion yuan.

Ten companies received investments of more than 10 billion yuan each during the year, raising a total of 148 billion yuan, or 16.7% of the total capital raised in the private market in China. The “10-billion club” included four semiconductor companies.

Amid the lack of companies of high quality, investors tend to focus on the top players in each sector, according to the report. This situation is particularly obvious in early-stage investments.