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Alibaba launches $1 billion Hong Kong venture fund

China’s Alibaba has announced a HK$1 billion (US$130 million) venture fund to help entrepreneurs with projects who can leverage the resources of Alibaba’s ecosystem.
It is one of two funds announced simultaneously – the other is in Taiwan, with an initial capital of NT$10 billion (US$316 million).
The local fund – named Entrepreneurs Fund for Hong Kong – will be managed by venture capital firm Gobi Partners.
The fund is intended to help entrepreneurs and position Hong Kong as a business hub that is engaged regionally and globally, with a mandate to invest in qualifying companies in the startup, growth and expansion phases. Selected ventures will be able to leverage the platforms in the Alibaba ecosystem to offer products and services to mainland China and globally, given that Alibaba operates in eCommerce, logistics, mobile platforms, cloud computing and financial services.
Said Joseph Tsai, executive vice chairman of Alibaba Group: “At Alibaba, our mission is to make it easy to do business anywhere. We are passionate about fostering entrepreneurial spirit and hope the resources provided by the fund will help unleash potential for innovation and entrepreneurship in Hong Kong.”
The fund will be headed by Cindy Chow as executive director. Other directors include Dr Allan Zeman, founder and chairman of the Lan Kwai Fong Group, and Savio Kwan, an independent business consultant who served as president and COO of Alibaba from 2001 to 2003.
As well as cash, the two new funds will offer 200 internship opportunities annually for graduates and final year students of local tertiary educational institutions. Successful applicants will be able to work for between six and 12 months at Alibaba Group companies in Mainland China.

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