The trend of Chinese conglomerates snapping up venture capital-backed cleantech startups on the cheap continues. This week a subsidiary of Chinese LED and solar manufacturing company San’an Optoelectronics announced that it has acquired LED startup: Luminus Devices. According to LED News (hat tip Greentech Media) the deal was done for $22 million…
All in all it wasn’t the biggest loss investors have seen during this trend of Chinese companies buying up struggling cleantech assets. Solar startup Miasole was sold to Chinese clean power company Hanergy for $30 million, after having raised between $400 million and $500 million over its lifetime. Chinese auto tech giant Wanxiang bought up battery maker A123 Systems out of its bankruptcy, made a barebones offer for electric car company Fisker Automotive, and has made equity investments in other cleantech startups as well.
Chinese companies flush with cash have enough capital to continue to invest in some of these infrastructure-heavy innovations that are requiring longer timelines and more money than the venture capital community expected. At the same time, the Chinese government has been creating markets for energy efficient and clean power technologies through strong incentives — it’s done this with LEDs, electric cars and solar technology.
Other cleantech startups are finding sunnier opportunities partnering with Chinese companies on manufacturing. Five-year-old EcoMotors, which is backed by Bill Gates and Khosla Ventures, is finally commercializing its efficient engine technology with a $200 million plant being built by Chinese auto giant Zhongding Power.
If all you know about China’s economy comes from Cold Warriors, if all you know about global economics is “Us versus Them” – you may as well skip this little news article from Katie Fehrenbacher and GigaOm.
If you have an interest in nations and enterprises experimenting in commercial partnerships – especially when our government is cowed by conservatives prating about the Red Peril of the East – then you should read on. In fact, click the link at the top of the original and wander through more of Katie’s journalism. It’s all focused on the nitty-gritty of getting Clean and Green Technology off the ground and into reality.