China has more ‘unicorn’ start-ups than the US


China has the world’s largest number of “unicorns,” privately-held start-up firms valued at more than $1bn (£771m), according to a new report.

The country has produced 206 unicorns while the US has 203, the China-based Hurun Institute reported.

Together the two countries are home to more than 80% of the world’s unicorns.

It comes as Washington and Beijing fight a trade war and jostle to become the world’s technology leader.

“China and the US dominate… despite representing only half of the world’s GDP and a quarter of the world’s population,” said Hurun Report Chairman Rupert Hoogewerf.

Chinese payments company Ant Financial tops the list with a valuation of $150bn.

Founded in 2014, Ant Financial’s main business is online payment platform Alipay, which was spun out of e-commerce giant Alibaba.

China’s Bytedance ranks second, with a valuation of $75bn. The fast-growing technology firm owns popular video-sharing platform TikTok.

Chinese ride-sharing company Didi Chuxing rounds out the top three, valued at $55bn.

High-profile US companies including home-rental site Airbnb, office space firm WeWork and electronic cigarette maker Juul also feature in the top 10.

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