Over 45 Chinese tech companies have announced their intentions to refinance, showing that already listed companies are seeking ways to raise additional capital in order to drive innovation.

Qihoo 360 (三六零) and iFlytek (头科大讯飞) announced plans (in Chinese) to raise RMB 10.8 billion and RMB 3.6 billion respectively. The funds will be used for developing artificial intelligence technologies.

Over 90 companies have issued plans to refinance since the beginning of the year,  half of which are tech companies. Both the number of companies and the scale of the financing have seen rapid year-on-year growth.

Tech companies are expected to raise a total of more than RMB 60 billion. Most companies are seeking to raise between RMB 1 billion and RMB 2 billion while only Qihoo 360 and ZTE are seeking more than RMB 10 billion.

An investment banker told local media that high-tech companies focussing on the internet, artificial intelligence, and biopharmaceuticals are set to drive economic development in China.

The plans show that it is not only IPOs that help tech companies drive innovation.

This year, there have been a number of high profile IPOs. In early May Xiaomi filed for a Hong Kong IPO, hoping to raise $10 billion with a valuation of $100 billion. However, that number has been questioned. On-demand video streaming platform iQiyi went public in March. In its latest financial results, the company said it expected to receive $2.36 billion in net proceeds from the IPO.

Other companies which have gone public or announced their intentions to do so include gaming video streaming platform Huya, online healthcare firm We Doctor, online retailer Meilishu, and cryptocurrency mining equipment manufacturer Canaan Creative.

Christopher Udemans is TechNode's former Shanghai-based data and graphics reporter. He covered Chinese artificial intelligence, mobility, cleantech, and cybersecurity.

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