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Chinese pledge £75m to turn Shanghai into Silicon Valley

Hi-tech zone to focus on on Net, e-commerce

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The Chinese are to spend £75 million on re-creating Silicon Valley in their own back yard. Yesterday, China set up the venture capital fund to make Shanghai its IT hub. The cash will be used to assist Internet and IT start-ups. It was thought to have the support of Jiang Mianheng, oldest son of president Jiang Zemin and head of Shanghai's IT office, according to today's Financial Times. The new companies will also be able to take advantage of China's upcoming membership of the World Trade Organisation and forge joint deals with foreign business. "The purpose is to create a Silicon Valley in Shanghai," said Wang Boming, the city council's executive vice president. "The Internet will be a major investment target –- Internet content providers and e-commerce." Several local firms linked to city government will manage parts of the fund, including the Shanghai Venture Capital Corp and Shanghai Industrial. And judging by the number of sex-starved IT bachelors in the real Silicon Valley, this creation could be just what China needs to keep the population explosion down. ®

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