Singapore’s state-owned investment firm Temasek will continue seeking long-term investment opportunities in China, especially in the technology sector, the company’s China head said in a keynote speech at TechNode’s Beyond Expo in Macau on Thursday.
Temasek spent more than RMB 500 billion (around $78.47 billion) on investing in the Chinese market in the fiscal year ended on March 31, or 27% of its global investment volume, said Wu Yibing, Head of China at the Singaporean state investment firm.
Wu’s remarks came amid media reports that Temasek is shying away from China’s tech sector due to the country’s regulatory climate.
In November, Nikkei Asia reported that Temasek was “holding off on new investment in Chinese tech companies for the time being due to uncertainty over Beijing’s crackdown on the sector.”
The same month, Bloomberg reported that Temasek had sold shares of several Chinese tech companies including Alibaba and Didi Chuxing. The investor cut 16% of its stake in Alibaba and 11% of its shares in Didi, according to Bloomberg.
Wu, who joined Temasek as its China head in 2013, told the Beyond Expo that the holding firm had had a long position in China since it entered the country more than 20 years ago, and that it will continue to do so.
However, Wu said Temasek is experiencing a transitional period in its China investment from bankrolling the country’s major internet and consumer tech players such as Alibaba, to funding startups in what he called the “new tech” and “new economy” sectors. He said the focus of Temasek’s investment strategy in China would be technological innovation.
Temasek will look at digital transformation as a key trend when investing in China tech, Wu said. The company has been investing in areas such as marketing tech, artificial intelligence, cloud computing, and semiconductors as part of the trend, he added.
China’s declared aim of being carbon neutral by 2060 is creating a trillion-dollar investment opportunity in sectors like electric vehicles and low-carbon manufacturing, said Wu.
“As China pushes for carbon neutrality, it is about to usher in a huge change in the energy industry,” said Wu. “China’s decarbonization goal will also promote a series of significant changes in green energy, electric vehicles, green manufacturing and other industries.”