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Asia: How Chinese Money is Driving Southeast Asia’s Tech Start-up Scene

Updated: Dec 30, 2019

Chinese investment in Southeast Asian start-ups ballooned to US$1.78 billion in the first seven months of this year, an eightfold increase over the same period in 2018, according to fintech firm Refinitiv, says an article from South China Morning Post (SCMP).

The saturation of the tech scene in China and the opportunities offered by Southeast Asia’s maturing mobile economy are two of the factors driving the influx of Chinese money, analysts say.

The region’s unicorns – firms valued at US$1 billion or more – and aspiring unicorns have been among the chief beneficiaries. In July, Gobi Partners, in collaboration with AirAsia’s cargo and logistics arm Teleport, co-invested US$10.6 million in Malaysia’s EasyParcel. In May, Chinese social network YY acquired Singapore’s live-streaming platform Bigo in a US$1.45 billion deal.

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