Board for startup technology firms ready to open

Shanghai Daily, June 8, 2015

A new board for startup high-tech firms will debut on the Shanghai Equity Exchange on June 26, the city's latest move to support entrepreneurship and innovation, Shanghai Daily has learned.

More than 50 firms, including many based in Zhangjiang High-Tech Park in the Pudong New Area, are expected to be the first group of companies on the Tech Innovation Board, industry sources from Zhangjiang park told Shanghai Daily.

Usually such boards allow unlisted high-tech firms to trade assets, including shares, through the exchange. It helps such firms receive funding, which can be difficult through banks and other traditional channels.

The Tech Innovation Board is expected to encourage entrepreneurs and talents to develop their ideas.

The board was given the go-ahead after Shanghai Financial Service Office, the city's top finance regulator, signed an agreement with the Pudong government last month.

The entry criteria of the new board includes net assets of more than 3 million yuan (US$484,000), a sustainable business model and a clear share structure, Zhangjiang officials said.

The A-share main boards on the Shanghai and Shenzhen stock exchanges require much higher standards, including having a net profit for three straight years. The profit over this period needs to be at least 30 million yuan. Such requirements are difficult for startup firms to meet.

"Shanghai is establishing itself as a global technology and innovation center. The new board will fuel the high-tech development and economy," said Zheng Yang, head of Shanghai Financial Service Office.

Analysts said Shanghai is often regarded as having a lack of entrepreneurship compared with Beijing and Shenzhen. The Tech Innovation Board is expected to change it, they said.

Meanwhile, Zhangjiang High-Tech Park aims to double a government-backed angel investment fund to 200 million yuan annually, probably beginning next year, said Jin Ying, deputy director of the Zhangjiang Innopark Administrative Committee.

Other methods to boost innovation in the park include flexible policies to attract high-end talents from home and abroad.

Expatriates working in Zhangjiang will be allowed to start their own business and leave and enter the Chinese mainland more easily.