News roundup: Where to now for the Chinese tech industry?

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Top China news for December 29, 2016. Get this daily digest delivered to your inbox by signing up at


Startup funding slowdown

There was a dramatic drop in funding for technology startups in China in the second half of 2016, according to Tech in Asia. Funding for the whole year, at $56.1 billion, still surpassed last year’s $45.1 billion, but investment in startups fell “back to 2014 levels” after the summer. One reason for the high number for the whole year was the $6.5 billion worth of funding put into “Alibaba spin-off Ant Financial in April and Uber’s China division in January.” Another factor highlighted by the article is that the recent explosive growth of new venture capital funds, some government-backed, has caused valuations for startups to skyrocket to levels that more established investors find unattractive.

How can China’s tech giants keep growing?

The Wall Street Journal examines a different problem in Chinese tech: the anxiety about future growth of established companies. The article, titled Chinese tech firms need wider reach in 2017 (paywalled), attributes the uncertainty to “the diminishing growth in the number of mobile internet users.” Paths to maintaining the extraordinary growth of the large Chinese technology firms may include expansion to China’s rural hinterland, pursuing foreign markets and selling products and services to senior citizens.

Sinica Podcast: Ian Johnson on ties between the Communist Party and the Catholic Church

Today we release an interview with Ian Johnson, a Pulitzer Prize-winning author and journalist, on the warming ties between the Chinese Communist Party and the Vatican.

On SupChina: Top China news of 2016

Today we publish a year-end review summarizing the most significant China news stories of 2016. Please do send us feedback if you think we’ve left anything out –

More stories worth your time are summarized below, with the more important headlines at the top of each section.




    A regular feature about what’s buzzing on Chinese social media
    64-year-old woman gives birth: Courageous or irresponsible?
    A 64-year-old Chinese woman delivered a healthy baby boy through in vitro fertilization on Wednesday, which is likely to be the oldest childbirth case across the country so far. The topic has been a popular subject of discussion on Chinese social media with some people praising the mother for her courage, but others arguing that giving birth at such an old age is irresponsible to the child. You can read some of the discussion on Weibo (in Chinese) here.