Date
21 September 2017
Hillhouse Capital's Zhang Lei says now is the time to invest in Chinese internet companies. Photo: HKEJ
Hillhouse Capital's Zhang Lei says now is the time to invest in Chinese internet companies. Photo: HKEJ

It’s time to buy China internet plays: Zhang Lei

Renowned hedge fund and private-equity fund manager Zhang Lei believes it is a good time now to invest in China’s internet firms, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reported Friday.

Zhang, founder of Yale University-backed Hillhouse Capital Management, however, refused to disclose whether his fund house, which has more than US$10 billion in assets under management, will invest in Alibaba Group, which is preparing for a massive listing in the United States.

The low-profile founder and investment fund mogul appeared at a public forum organized by the Financial Times on Thursday, showing support to the technology and internet sector in the mainland.

The overall capacity of Chinese enterprises in terms of innovation has surpassed that of their counterparts in the US, Lei said, noting that bottlenecks in the Silicon Valley have led to the rise of competitive rivals such as Alibaba in Beijing.

Alibaba is now bigger than eBay, Lei noted. Eighty percent of the portfolios managed under his firm are tapping traditional enterprises that strive to engage their businesses with technology and the internet.

Zhang last year led a joint venture with China’s Tencent Holdings (00700.HK) and Indonesian multimedia firm PT Media Nusantara Citra (MNC) to utilize the former’s instant messaging platform WeChat in opening social media and internet businesses for the latter.

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Freelance journalist

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