China’s next billion-dollar startup could have backing from an investor with more money than Warren Buffett and a knack for promoting spicy duck-neck delicacies.
The Hubei provincial government is
Local governments across China are getting into the venture-capital business, deploying a combined
“Our focus is more on the sector than the return,” said Wang Hanbing, who oversees $6 billion as chairman of the Yangtze River Industry Fund, one of several using Hubei government money. “We encourage people to bring real jobs back to Hubei.”
China is grappling with a profusion of economic difficulties such as declining exports, surging home prices and skyrocketing corporate debt. Gross domestic product grew 6.7 percent in the third quarter from a year earlier, maintaining the slowest expansion since 2009.
The State Council
Policy makers want to curb the proliferation of borrowing by regional authorities to pay for infrastructure projects that prop up growth. Local government financing vehicles borrow on behalf of governments, which often are barred from doing so.
Through September, the debt issued by more than 1,600 such vehicles soared 47 percent from a year ago to 1.5...