Will Shanghai Overtake Silicon Valley?

Lifestyle 26 Sep 2018

Shanghai is giving Silicon Valley a run for its money!

In the last 5 years, Shanghai’s tech and startup scenes (often going hand-in-hand) have simply exploded.

As of 2018, China’s most cosmopolitan city has already surpassed other international tech hubs such as Tokyo, Beijing, London and New York in terms of tech startups. The city is closing in on it’s tech rival, the mother of tech herself: Silicon Valley.

In fact, Shanghai is currently one of the biggest and most active regions for entrepreneurship in the entire world.

Over 700,000 new business were set up in Shanghai in the first 5 months of 2017 alone. That’s a whopping 20% increase from the year before. And many of these startups are tech based.

KPMG’s Global Technology Innovation report, which surveys over 800 technology industry and business leaders internationally on areas of tech innovation, leadership and market trends, announced Shanghai’s tech scene is leading in growth.

KPMG stated that they expect Shanghai to become the next Silicon Valley in roughly four years. The report found that the U.S. still accounts for the majority of “tech breakthroughs” globally, roughly 26%. Yet, China is right on their tail at 25%. Meanwhile, things in Silicon Valley are starting to slow down while Shanghai is picking up its pace. Simple put, the odds are in Shanghai’s favor.

Highway roads in Shanghai
Downtown Shanghai

In particular, Shanghai has been a hub for mobile App development, such as Bon App and BottlesOx, and high-tech industries like AI, such as Seedlink.

But why is Shanghai such a blossoming tech powerhouse?

As you know, the Chinese government promotes growth in specific sectors through leveraged government funding. In fact, the government launched several initiatives to create Chinese Silicon Valleys, most notably Nanjing and Xiamen. These urban tech ventures have been successful indeed, and yet Shanghai still takes the lion’s share of China’s tech sector.

The reason?

With the city’s roots in banking and finance, many startups find Shanghai an easy place to secure much needed funding. Shanghai is also critically a free-trade zone. Its population is also notable, as it has large disposable incomes and is known to readily embrace and buy new technology. It's a bustling city hungry for new lifestyle innovations. 

Perhaps most importantly, Shanghai is the most foreign-friendly city in China. It has a long history of welcoming foreigners, including foreign business. This culture continues to seduce hopeful entrepreneurs internationally and domestically into the city limits to try their luck at a startup!

Of course, the government also plays a parental role in promoting the tech industry in Shanghai with government benefits and low-interest bank loans to promising tech startups!

All in all, Shanghai’s tech startup scene has grown incredibly quickly and shows great favorability for stability and continued growth. We’re excited to see what Shanghai’s tech future holds and happy to be apart of such a captivating and inspiring tech environment!

- The NOEREN Team