In the world of finance, a unicorn is a privately owned start-up valued at over 1 billion USD. A term first coined back in 2013, these companies are dubbed unicorns due to the statistical rarity of their success, though in recent years they've become increasingly common in China. And according to a recent study, Beijing's home to the most unicorns in the country.
Published back in April by the Hurun Report
(the same folks who brought us previous hits like the 2018 Global Rich List
), the Greater China Unicorn Index
provides analysis of all of China's unicorns, which total 151 companies with an aggregated valuation of over 600 billion USD.
Beijing is home to the most unicorns
Out of 151 companies, 66 of them are located in Beijing, followed by Shanghai with 38, Hangzhou with 16 and Shenzhen with 11. Beijing companies also tend to be more valuable, with twice as many unicorns as Shanghai, but more than three times their total value (307 billion USD versus 102 billion USD respectively). And thanks to Hangzhou-based super unicorn Ant Financial, Hangzhou's aggregated value also beats Shanghai (107 billion USD) despite only having 16 unicorns.
Internet services is the most common industry
Unsurprisingly, in terms of industry, 25 percent of unicorns are involved in internet services, while 21 percent operate within the world of e-commerce. 14 percent are related to culture and entertainment, with the remaining 40 percent falling under transport, real estate, health services and computing.
60 percent of Chinese unicorns are less than six-years-old
The majority of unicorns were founded in the last six years. Out of 151 companies, 25 percent were founded within the last 5-6 years, 30 percent within the last 3-4 years and 5 percent within the last 3 years (the remaining 40 percent of companies are over seven-years-old).
39.1 percent of unicorn founders are younger than 38
In a bit of early midlife crisis-inducing data, it turns out 39.1 percent of unicorn leaders were born after the '80s. Of the total number of unicorn founders, 6.5 percent are younger than 33 and a ridiculously high-achieving 2.2 percent are younger than 28. That being said, the largest proportion of founders (46.7 percent) were born during the '70s, which y'know, totally still gives us all time to become leaders of multi-billion dollar companies.
Top 10 Unicorn companies in China
Check out the list below for the most successful start-ups in China.
1. Ant Financial (Hangzhou): 400+ billion RMB
2. Didi Chuxing (Beijing): 300+ billion RMB
2. Xiaomi (Beijing): 300+ billion RMB
4. Toutiao (Beijing): 200+ billion RMB
4. Meituan-Dianping (Beijing): 200+ billion RMB
6. JD Finance (Beijing): 150+ billion RMB
6. Tencent Music (Shenzhen): 160+ billion RMB
8. Cainiao (Hangzhou): 100+ billion RMB
8. DJI (Shenzhen): 100+ billion RMB
8. Kuaishou (Beijing): 100+ billion RMB