In the face of increasing economic pressure from the United States, China has recently launched an initiative to build an innovation hub in Hainan, a tropical island that aims to attract the talent of foreign startups.
Xi Jinping, current president of China, is taking positions to improve the country’s economy as the trade war with the United States continues. In November, it enacted a series of measures that will expand imports and liberalize key sectors of the economy, predicting that imports of goods and services from the Asian region will exceed 40 trillion dollars over the next 15 years.
That dream of China to consolidate itself as the global technological power to follow is not understood without attracting foreign talent and attracting valuable international startups. Its plan is to turn the tropical island of Hainan into an epicenter of digital innovation, the place chosen by the Government to become a magnet for globalization and attract leading digital nomadic companies.
Located in the south of the country, this island has often been dubbed the “Hawaii of China”. At the end of December, Haikou, the provincial capital of Hainan, held a three-day opening event for a new incubation program for emerging companies, bringing together 20 founders of startups and a panel composed of a dozen investment managers, mentors and entrepreneurs from the United States, Europe, Australia, India and the Middle East
Together with the local research and development centers run by China’s technology titans, Alibaba, iQiyi Mobike and Microsoft, the new Fuxing incubator wants to become the international reference for startups with a view to the Chinese market. Already last April, President Xi announced the launch of a special economic zone and a free port in Hainan as part of his signature Belt and Road Initiative. In this way, Hainan, one of China’s poorest provinces, will serve “as a window to reform and promote the formation of a new pattern of market opening.”
“Hainan has been given the green light to carry the reform deeper and deeper than ever before. They have the central government’s budget to make it happen, “said Nishtha Mehta, moderator of the panel at the Haikou and Indian national event who lives in Shanghai and trains corporate innovation teams. “Digital disruptors will be the catalyst for Hainan to become the epicenter of a technological ecosystem that could one day rival that of Shenzhen,” said Peter Yang, co-founder of PreShares, a VC firm and manager of the incubator, such as Venture Beat picks up.
The China Daily, a newspaper that reflects the government’s line, reported earlier this week that Jack Ma, founder and president of Alibaba, and Pony Ma, president and CEO of Tencent, the two largest technology titans in China, were chosen as president and vice president of the advisory council for the provincial government of Hainan.