Alibaba Launches US$ 307 Million Fund for Taiwan Start-ups

Alibaba Launches US$ 307 Million Fund for Taiwan Start-ups
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Alibaba executive vice chairman Joseph Tsai points out, executive chairman Jack Ma found out from talking to Taiwanese entrepreneurs that the common concern is a lack of young successors. In order to help young people build start-ups, Alibaba will give out NT$10 billion (approximately US$ 307 million) of venture funds.

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On October 19, Alibaba announced the launch of the non-profit Taiwan Entrepreneurs Fund, planning to provide NT$10 billion (approximately US$ 307 million) of funds and guidance for Taiwanese start-up teams at different stages, which will combine the resources in the Alibaba Ecosystem. Taiwanese entrepreneurs or those who set up their business locations in Taiwan can apply for the venture capital fund.

Alibaba launched two kinds of Entrepreneurs Funds in Taiwan and Hong Kong on October 19. Apple Daily reports, in support of the Alibaba Ecosystem, Taiwan Entrepreneurs Fund provides NT$10 billion (approximately US$ 307 million) for eligible Taiwanese entrepreneurs to expand their market of commodity and service to Greater China or the world. Business stages of start-up, growth and expansion are provided with different funds and guidance.

Awakening News reports, Alibaba executive vice chairman Joseph Tsai points out, executive chairman Jack Ma found out from talking to Taiwanese entrepreneurs that the common concern is a lack of young successors. In order to help young people build start-ups, Alibaba will give out NT$10 billion (approximately US$ 307 million) of venture funds.

It was not easy to set up the venture capital fund, which Ma announced this March in his speech in Taiwan. Alibaba was originally set to execute the fund, along with other professional teams to assess its application. However, this was so high profile that the government was criticized for not helping young people. Afterwards, the investment commission rejected its application because it was unqualified. The fund was re-launched after Alibaba chose China Development Industrial Bank as its investment manager.

Business Next reports, Joseph Tsai says that the Taiwan Entrepreneurs Fund is a non-profit so its income will be given to the next batch of entrepreneurs, and not to Alibaba Groups. “It is not for charity, but to invest in the best entrepreneurs, companies and ideas according to the rules of the market,” Tsai says.

Responsible for evaluating the standards of the investment, China Development Industrial Bank President Paul Yang says that with the 50-year experience of assisting the overseas investment to Taiwan, the fund can meet the criteria of the Investment Commission of Ministry of Economic Affairs in Taiwan. The NT$10 billion (approximately US$ 307 million) will not flow into Taiwan at once; it will be individually applied after each case is approved. Yang says, “Alibaba will obey the rule of the Investment Commission.”

China Times reports, executive director of Taiwan Entrepreneurs Fund, Andrew Lee, believes that the Internet can create a fairly competitive environment for small companies to expand their business through innovation and technology, enhancing their competitiveness.

Lee’s team will ensure the long-term operation of the fund and strictly evaluate eligible companies, expecting to find out more potential entrepreneurs for the entrepreneurial environment in Taiwan.

As for doubts of investments from China, Lee stresses, “When Mainland Chinese companies invest in Taiwanese companies, their vital influence on economy and national security will be put into consideration. But Alibaba’s investment in Taiwanese start-ups doesn’t have these doubts, therefore meets the criteria of the investment committee.”

Translated by Wen-yee Lee
Edited by Olivia Yang

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