Chengdu welcomes unicorn, invests in more to follow

Authors: China Daily


Chengdu Xinchao Media Group became Sichuan Province's first unicorn company after making it onto the 2017 list compiled by the Torch High Technology Industry Development Center of the Ministry of Science and Technology and Greatwall Strategy Consultants last month.
A unicorn is a startup company valued at over $1 billion within 10 years of its establishment.
Chengdu Xinchao Media Group is a former magazine publisher that now specializes in intelligent advertising. The company claims to put its advertisements in front of an audience of 100 million people, mainly in the form of video displays in 350,000 elevators in 40 cities nationwide, according to Zhang Jixue, chairman of the company.
The displays found in the elevators adopt the latest communication technology equipment, such as WiFi detectors and near-field communication, so that the behaviors of users can be recorded and uploaded to a database. The company can tell the preferences and consumption habits of different groups by analyzing the information and tailoring the advertising, Zhang said.
Xinchao is just one example of the results of Chengdu's efforts to develop its new economy, namely the digital, intelligent, green, creative, information traffic and sharing industries, put forward by the local government in November.
Zhang said the city has an ideal climate for innovation and entrepreneurship.
"Chengdu holds an open mind for emerging new companies and provides many preferential policies. I believe more unicorns involved in new economy will appear in the city," he said.
Wang Delu, president of Greatwall Strategy Consultants, said the newly born unicorn shows entrepreneurial environment in Chengdu is improving.
"The new economy has developed well in recent years in Chengdu. Entrepreneurs are able to take advantage of new applications. I believe the city will be a pioneer in innovation and entrepreneurship." According to the government, Chengdu currently has 31 companies with potential to become unicorns, with an average value of $342 million. These startups involve medicine and healthcare, culture and entertainment, big data and new media.
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