China outnumbers US in startups with billion-dollar valuations

Innovation and capital are flooding forth on either side of the Pacific Ocean.

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China is now home to 206 startups that are worth more than USD 1 billion but are yet to be listed on a public exchange, exceeding the United States’ count of 203 unicorns, according to the Hurun Global Unicorn List 2019.

Together, China and the US account for 83% of the 494 unicorns found worldwide. These companies have an average age of seven, and are spread across 118 cities in 24 countries. They are worth USD 1.7 trillion in total.

The top three most valuable unicorns in the world are all based in China. They are Ant Financial, which is valued at USD 150 billion; ByteDance with its USD 75 billion valuation; and Didi Chuxing, with a USD 55 billion price tag.

US-based Infor is the fourth-most valuable startup, with a valuation of USD 50 billion. The company builds cloud-based enterprise resource planning software for businesses of various scales.

Sequoia is the most successful investor worldwide, having backed 92 unicorns. The firm is followed by Tencent, which has 46 unicorns in its portfolio. Alibaba lags behind in seventh place with 22 unicorns.