Banking giant HSBC has set up a new $880 million technology fund to find the next Chinese unicorn in the Greater Bay Area. HSBC is reportedly looking for the next Tencent, Huawei or DJI in the region.
Cashing in the Chinese potential
The Greater Bay Area in China provides a unique blend of advanced infrastructure and development that many investors are looking for. Identifying the potential of the region, HSBC said on Tuesday that it wants to provide financing to early-stage companies of the region. It has created an $880 million technology fund for these new Chinese unicorns.
Dubbed the GBA+ Technology Fund, HSBC’s latest offering is focused on high-growth companies based in mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macau. It will be looking at companies in a variety of e-commerce, fintech sector, biotech, robotics, and health care. Terence Chiu, the head of commercial banking for HSBC in Hong Kong, said that lending money to companies is not the sole purpose of the fund. Instead, HSBC is looking to create a lasting relationship with its customers. Chiu noted that they are not a transactional bank and it has never been a part of their strategy in the past 154 years.
Why does the Greater Bay Area demand attention?
The Greater Bay Area was home to 120 million people as per 2018 data with a combined gross domestic product of $1.6 trillion. It includes Hong Kong, Macau, and nine cities of the Guangdong province which are now being integrated for better economic development and cooperation in the future. By GDP figures, GBA is a bigger economy than Australia. According to a government-affiliated think tank called the China Centre for International Economic Exchanges, the GDP of this region may exceed $4 trillion by 2030.
One of the most important sub-regions with the GBA is China’s Silicon Valley, Shenzhen. The city is crowded with thousands of technology companies and innovative startups. DJI, the drone company which makes 3 of every 4 recreational drones in the world is based here. Other tech giants located in the region are Tencent Holdings and Huawei Technologies.
The new fund comes at a time when the United States is in the middle of a trade war with China. Huawei’s smartphones have suffered the most because of the trade tensions as it has been prohibited from using American technology over concerns related to national security.