If your Chinese is up to it — or perhaps if you want to see how well-designed the best Chinese newspapers are — click here to see the story today in China Securities News (中国证券报) that includes both an interview with me and excerpts from our Chinese-language report on the crisis in Chinese private equity.
Unlike the sorry situation in the US and elsewhere, newspapers in China are still thriving. The leading papers, including China Securities News, have large nationwide readership and distribution, with the large profits to match. And no, the contents are not fiercely censored. If they were, no one would buy them.
I’m quite chuffed this paper devotes so much space to our report and its conclusions. It’s an affirmation of what a great job my China First Capital colleagues did in preparing the Chinese version. My own modest hope is that this article, together with several others that have appeared recently in other mainstream Chinese business publications, will help catalyze a more active discussion of the current crisis in the PE industry in China. There is, as my interview emphasizes, a lot at stake for China.
The sudden stop of both IPOs and new private equity investment in China means that private companies are being denied access to much-needed capital to finance growth. This is already beginning to have serious impact on China’s private sector and the economy as a whole. I foresee no significant change coming anytime soon. For private entrepreneurs, these are dark days indeed. Keep in mind, China’s private sector now accounts for over half of gdp — and it’s the “half” that provides most of new jobs as well as just about every product and service ordinary Chinese enjoy spending money on.
As a lot of non-Chinese speakers have heard, the Chinese words “crisis” and “opportunity” share a common root (危机，机会）. There is much wisdom in this. The current crisis in China PE is also perhaps the best opportunity ever for stronger PEs to find and close great investments, through purchases of what we call “Quality Secondaries”.
Investment opportunities don’t get much riper than this one.