US accelerator Y Combinator announced the launch of a startup program in China, TechCrunch writes.
The accelerator is expanding to China after it announced it was hiring former Microsoft and Baidu executive Qi Lu. As the founding CEO of YC China, he is tasked with developing standalone startup program in the country. He is also stepping into the role of Head of YC Research.
The date of the launch is not yet known. YC will be based in Beijing.
According to YC president Sam Altman, “The number one asset YC has is a very special founder community,” he told TechCrunch. “The opportunity to include a lot more Chinese founders seems super valuable to everyone. Over the next decade, a significant portion of the tech companies started will be from the U.S. or China [so operating a] network across both is a huge deal,” he said.
With the number of startups in China rising tremendously in the past years, it is expected the market will rank closely to that of the US. Over time, YC has been working to add Chinese startups to its US-based programs, so creating a stronger link between the two markets would be a huge asset.