China switches on $14.5bn internet fund

The Chinese government has raised $4.35bn for the first close of its China Internet Investment Fund, sourcing capital from a range of state-run firms.

The Chinese government has established a RMB100bn ($14.5bn) fund backed by several state-owned firms that will invest in the country’s internet sector, according to news agency Xinhua.

China Internet Investment Fund will be overseen by state agencies the Cyberspace Administration of China and the Ministry of Finance, with the intention of strengthening the country’s economy by boosting its online and internet businesses.

The scheme will form part of the Chinese government’s Internet Plus initiative, which aims to strengthen traditional industries through the introduction of internet technology.

The fund has so far raised $4.35bn in capital. Financial services firm Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) is its largest limited partner, supplying $1.45bn.

China Internet Investment Fund’s other LPs include telecommunications companies China Mobile and China Unicom, insurance provider China Post Insurance and Citic Guoan Group, part of investment firm Citic Group Corporation.

ICBC, Agricultural Bank of China and China Development Bank have also agreed to supply RMB150bn in credit to the fund’s portfolio companies.

Although the fund’s backers are all owned by the Chinese government, Xinhua did not reveal whether private internet companies will also be eligible for financing through the initiative.

See more from this Government Report: People's Republic of China

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