China to Rival Silicon Valley, Yuri Milner Says

Technology companies in China are thriving and will rival Silicon Valley in attracting investment, according to Russian investor Yuri Milner, who manages investment fund DST Global.

More breakout companies on the scale of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. could come quickly, Milner said in an interview with Bloomberg TV’s Willow Bay.

He predicted that several global technology companies valued at more than $50 billion will emerge in China during the next decade, along with 25 more valued at about $10 billion. Even as growth in China’s economy slows, technology companies there are thriving, Milner said. While DST expects India, Brazil and Europe to grow as technology hubs, Milner said he’s planning to make investments in “predominantly the U.S. and China.”

“China is really the next big market outside of Silicon Valley,” Milner said in the interview at the Milken Institute Global Conference in Los Angeles.

DST was among the investors that agreed to buy Alibaba shares in 2011, valuing the e-commerce company at $32 billion, people familiar with the matter said then. Still, Milner said it’s up to the company’s founders, not him, to decide on the timing of an IPO.

“Alibaba is ready for this,” Milner said. “It’s just a matter of timing for them to push the trigger.”

John Spelich, a spokesman for Alibaba, said there is no timetable for an IPO.

“When the time comes, we are ready,” Spelich said.

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