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Beijing falls behind Singapore in global start-up ecosystem ranking amid US-China tech war

Beijing has fallen three places from 2022 to No 8 in the latest ranking of the world’s top 40 start-up ecosystems, as a weak domestic economy and growing tensions with Washington deter investment interest in China’s capital.

Silicon Valley came out on top, while New York and London were tied in second place, according to the latest Global Start-up Ecosystem Ranking (GSER) published by research firm Startup Genome.

Singapore, in seventh place, was the top-ranking Asian city this year. Seoul and Tokyo stood at No 9 and 10, respectively.

The GSER report ranks start-up hubs by five measures: funding, performance, market reach, talent and experience, and knowledge. While Beijing received nearly full marks in the last four categories, it scored the lowest among the top 10 cities in the funding category.

The Chinese capital, which reached its highest overall ranking of No 3 in 2019, suffered largely from a drop in funding deals and successful exits, according to the report. During the 30 months preceding the end of 2023, the city recorded 223 Series A deals to place 11th globally, while marking only 60 exits to rank 58th.

The Chinese government’s years-long crackdown on the technology sector has driven investments away from the country’s consumer internet sector, once fertile ground for unicorns – start-ups valued at more than US$1 billion. Escalating rivalry between the world’s two largest economies has also weighed on sentiment, according to investors and industry experts.

Some US-based limited partners, in particular pension funds, have reduced their capital allocations in China, according to Conrad Chan, partner at Deloitte China’s Venture Capital and Private Equity Programme, quoted in a blog post published in March last year by