China Leads the World in Number of Unicorn Startups

Out of a total of 494 global unicorns, categorized by a valuation of over $1 billion, 206 were Chinese, compared to 203 from the United States, according to the latest Hurun Report on unicorn companies.

Hurun researchers confirmed that this is the first time the number of Chinese unicorns has surpassed that of the United States. Beijing is the global unicorn capital, with 82 company headquarters while San Francisco has 55, Shanghai has 47 and New York has 25. India ranked third with 21 companies, and the UK fourth with 13.

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Hurun Report chairman Rupert Hoogewerf said, “China and the USA dominate with over 80 percent of the world’s known unicorns, despite representing only half of the world’s GDP and a quarter of the world’s population. The rest of the world needs to wake up to creating an environment that allows unicorns to flourish in.”

Meanwhile, the world’s top three most valuable unicorns include Chinese firms, Ant Financial, Didi Chuxing, and ByteDance. These three companies combine for a total value of $280 billion. Other notable top Chinese unicorns include online music service provider Tencent Music, online to offline service provider Meituan Dianping, and the world’s leading commercial drone maker DJI.

Hoogewerf continued to provide some insights into the list, commenting on Chinese companies’ ability to “spin-off” successful enterprises such as Alibaba‘s creation of Ant Financial, “Chinese companies are far and away the most successful at spinning off unicorns, with 18 of the world’s 20 ‘spun-off’ unicorns.”