[NEW YORK] With its economy slowing down, China is re-inventing itself as the next Startup Nation.
A new report by UHY International, an accounting and consultancy firm based in London, unveiled data showing China is in pole position when it comes to entrepreneurship, spawning 4,000 new businesses a day.
Since 2010 - when its economy was roaring at a rate of 10 per cent - China has doubled the number of startups to 1,609,700 in 2014. The UK lagged a distant second.
Under President Xi Jinping, China is striving to transform its US$10 trillion-plus economy from one driven by investment and exports into one led by consumer spending and services. To that end, the government has taken unprecedented steps - from subsidies to venture capital financing - to promote Internet, technology and innovation as growth engines.
Even with concern swirling about the sustainability of high valuations, Alibaba Group Holding's chairman Jack Ma is setting the pace for aspiring Chinese billionaires.
"A startup for entrepreneurs is like a baby," he told President Barack Obama last week. "I have five babies so far."