Alibaba set up $130 million fund to invest in Hong Kong’s startups, This can help youths and small businesses .
China’s largest e-commerce operator selected Gobi Partners Inc. to become the first manager of the non-profit fund, which will support online and brick-and-mortar companies, and provide six- to 12-month Alibaba internships for about 200 students each year, the company said in a statement.
The affluent city of 7 million people, home to startups like minivans-on-demand operator Gogovan and storage company Boxful, is better known as a financial services and real-estate hub than a cradle of technology entrepreneurship. Funding for the local startup community lags that of larger markets like China, Indonesia and India, which have attracted billions of dollars.
Hong Kong plays a strategic role for Alibaba’s main financial affiliate, Zhejiang Ant Small & Micro Financial Services Group Co., which operates China’s largest payments service and personal wealth fund. Ma has said he’s open to the idea of listing the Alipay parent in the city should regulators welcome it.
Alibaba’s plans for a Hong Kong initial public offering were derailed last year after the city wouldn’t waive a ban on an alternative share-class structure Alibaba had proposed, pushing it to the New York Stock Exchange instead.