As you walk into the high rise office in central Tel Aviv overlooking Ayalon Highway, which cuts through this bustling Mediterranean metropolis, you feel the electricity in the air, a place that vibrates with energy. Tables everywhere are strewn with hardware components and paper pads, dozens of engineers and designers of all ages are slouched over computer screens in an open workspace. Yossi Wolf, CEO and founder, bids farewell with a warm smile to a team of executives from a major Asian smartphone maker on an advanced exploration visit.

This is Temi, a subsidiary of Roboteam, a designer and manufacturer of a personal robot capturing market share in the US defense and homeland security sectors, and through a separate subsidiary focusing on the civilian market in China. “Temi is the first robot that truly interacts with humans while providing flawless autonomous navigation, dynamic video and audio experiences, and advanced AI,” proclaims the company.

Yet Temi is a glaring exception, a nascent success story for Israeli startups in China. Despite courtship by Chinese investors from the private and state-owned sectors for several years, the hype so far has yielded little substance: According to IVC Research Center reports, Chinese companies accounted for as little as 1.1% and no more than 8% of all Israeli tech exits between 2015 and 2017.

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Rami Blachman

Rami Blachman is a tech entrepreneur and venture capitalist based in Shanghai and Tel Aviv. He is a frequent speaker and writer on China cross-border tech investing and how it relates to Israeli startups.