Poll shows popular startup industries

Updated: 2012-12-04 10:32

By Cai Xiao (China Daily)

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Consumer goods and services, mobile payment sectors top list

Consumer goods and services, mobile payments and healthcare have become the three most popular industries for Chinese startup entrepreneurs, according to a report by CY-zone.cn released on Monday.

A total of 42.9 percent of entrepreneurs this year said they had the greatest confidence in those three sectors, the report said.

Poll shows popular startup industries

Traditional e-commerce and social networking, which were hot sectors in previous years, failed to remain popular among entrepreneurs this year, as only 12.3 percent of those polled chose them.

The startup's business plan was regarded as the most important factor in creating a successful startup business, according to the Chinese entrepreneurs surveyed.

Hiring talented employees, technology and related work experience were also considered important.

CY-zone.cn, China's main early-stage investment portal, released the figures after tabulating the results from the 551 Chinese entrepreneurs who responded to the survey.

Some 41.6 percent of them said they faced fierce competition from large companies like Tencent Holdings Ltd, Baidu Inc and Alibaba Group, the three largest ones in the information technology sector.

But nearly 60 percent of them said the market is open and many opportunities exist.

Xue Manzi, a well-known angel investor, said that in the next three years, Chinese entrepreneurs can see major benefits from the rapidly developing mobile Internet market.

Xue still views the e-commerce sector favorably because one-third of Chinese purchases are made on impulse.

"As the payment and distribution systems become more mature, e-commerce purchasing will become mainstream in China," Xue said.

Xue said he receives several dozen business plans every day, but most of them are very similar.

Xue suggested that Chinese entrepreneurs should find new markets with strong demand rather than follow in the footsteps of others.

"Raising funds is not enough. Finding a professional investor is more important," Xue said.

Lei Jun is a well-known angel investor in China and CEO at Xiaomi Corp, an ambitious smartphone maker.

YY Inc, which runs a Chinese online games portal, was listed in November on the US Nasdaq stock market.

"YY could not have been a success without Lei Jun's help," Xue said.

Li Xueling, CEO of YY Inc, said he has 12 years experience of setting up companies, and the 7-year-old YY is his latest one. He said an entrepreneur must be patient, adding that it's vital to find talented employees who are persistent, because every company may experience some tough times during their development.

Chinese entrepreneurs have limited access to investors, as 31.5 percent of them this year did not receive outside funds, according to the survey.

Of those who did, 57.6 percent relied on individuals, relatives and friends, 19 percent received assistance from financial institutions, and 12.2 percent from investment institutions.

According to the report, 56 percent of the entrepreneurs surveyed successfully found investors through friends' recommendations, and 34.8 percent made it because they knew investors previously.

And only 9.2 percent of them were able to find new investors by themselves.

The report also showed that nearly half of those surveyed were first-time entrepreneurs, while 30.8 percent of them were setting up their second business.