Two venture capital firms in Britain got investment commitments worth 8 billion yuan (US$1.3 billion) from investors in mainland China in the week following the visit of British Prime Minister Teresa May. This is reflective of the enhanced interest of Chinese firms in areas of biotechnology and medical services is music which turns out to be a boon for the British government.
Two of U.K.’s most innovative biotechnology, medicine and life sciences firms – Future Planet Capital and Eight Great Technologies, would get Chinese investment funds after they signed memorandums of understanding for the same.
“There is a strong pipeline of deals emerging from British innovation and the renowned scientists backing Eight Great Technologies will increase that number,” Douglas Hansen-Luke, executive chairman of Future Planet, told the media. “These agreements are just the beginning of a long process to ensure that investments are made profitably.”
Health care innovation and biotechnology are the two areas where there would be an initial funding of about 3 billion yuan which is a part of a commitment of an investment of 8 billion yuan, by Jian Xin Tian Ran Investment Management, an offshoot of China Construction Bank, and Shenzhen Qianhai Sunflower Financial Service.
A stronger Sino-UK economic relationship is being anticipated to grow following the visit of May to China. While on one hand, London is seeking out potential trade partners and investors and wants China by its side especially with the uncertainties of a Brexit deal with the European Union. Beijing on the other hand, wants the U.K. to endorse and commit to its Belt and Road Initiative which is touted to be China’s project to create a new global economic order.
“Investment deals of this kind are of mutual benefit to both countries,” said Shao Yu, chief economist of Orient Securities. “Chinese investors are grappling with difficulties in landing investment deals in key technologies in the United States and Britain sees China as an important funding source after Brexit.”
Rising awareness about health in China means that Chinese firms and the government are attempting to improve their biotech and medical businesses.
One of the areas that Chinese investors and firms are looking to improve in is acquiring the latest gene and cell technologies around the world in anticipation of the Chinese medical examination market reaching a total of 100 billion yuan in the near future. This would help Chinese medical firms to cater to the demand for better health checkup technologies by consumers in mainland China.
Investment in early-stage companies with research innovations will be done by Future Planet through already existing multiple partnerships agreements with top universities that include Oxford and Cambridge in the UK.
Chinese funds would be helped to invest in a “measured and responsible process” in Sino-British-linked companies by Hansen-Luke said Future Planet, chaired by Lord Norman Foster.
“It is certainly true that the UK government’s support for innovation and entrepreneurship provides the context and energy to allow such deals to happen more quickly,” said Hansen-Luke.
(Adapted from SCMP.com)