Sequoia Capital China raises US$9 billion amid hopes that crackdown has eased

Sequoia Capital China raises US$9 billion amid hopes that crackdown has eased
FILE PHOTO: Neil Shen, founding and managing partner of Sequoia Capital China, attends the World Internet Conference (WIC) in Wuzhen, Zhejiang province, China, October 20, 2019. REUTERS/Aly Song/File Photo

In recent months, the Chinese government has shifted its tone when it comes to its regulatory campaigns, especially in the tech industry. While nothing is confirmed yet, there were reports that Chinese authorities were making moves to revive Ant Group’s IPO, which China denied.

Now, the news website The Information has reported that an anonymous source familiar with the talks said that Sequoia Capital China has raised nearly US$9 billion for four new funds to primarily invest in Chinese startups at different stages of their life cycle, focusing on tech, healthcare and consumer areas. This gives investors hope that the worst of the regulatory crackdown is over. Sequoia Capital China hasn’t commented.

Key comments:

Beijing has “gradually begun to release some policy signals. [But] a return to the past days of ‘riding the horse without holding the reins’ is not very likely,” said Xin Lijun, retail head of e-commerce giant JD.com to Bloomberg.

“I do feel that there is starting to be some signs of regulatory easing, and truthfully over the last few years, we did see some of this ‘barbaric growth. As long as there are regulations and those regulations are clear, then we can work on our development within this system,” said Guo Changchen, founder of Keeko Robot Technology, a Xiamen-based AI education startup.