When looking at China’s startup hubs, the first names that pop up in our minds would be Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen. The advantages are obvious. They are China’s first-tier metropolises both in terms of startup community and economy, offering easy access to investors and mature startup communities.

However, the rocketing housing fees and human resource costs as well as big-city pitfalls like pollution have forced entrepreneurs to weigh the pros and cons of these cities more carefully before calling them home.

The fact is that more and more entrepreneurs nowadays lean towards second-tier cities thanks to lower operational costs, nicer environment and local government support. The change is so fast that one of the uprising tech hubs — Hangzhou might overtake its sluggish peers as the new “Silicon Valley” of China, a recent report from Vision Plus Capital pointed out.

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Emma Lee

Emma Lee is Shanghai-based tech writer, covering startups and tech happenings in China and Asia in general. We are looking for stories related to tech and China. Reach her at lixin@technode.com.