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Sequoia's China unit's move into Singapore sets stage for competition with India-based arm: FT

The Edge Singapore
The Edge Singapore • 2 min read
Sequoia's China unit's move into Singapore sets stage for competition with India-based arm: FT
Singapore is seen as neutral between US and China / Photo: Samuel Isaac Chua
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A reported expansion of Sequoia Capital's China unit into Singapore is setting up soon-to-be former colleagues to potentally compete for deals here.

Under a plan announced last month, famed Silicon Valley-based PE firm Sequoia Capital will split into three, in a bid to remove constraints of the new era of geopolitics, although the firm claims it was to address "growing market confusion" and "portfolio conflicts".

The India and southeast business is called Peak XV Partners, and already has an office in Singapore.

The China-based unit, called HongShan, is reportedly planning to start an office here, reported the Financial Times on July 9.

HongShan, which has an AUM of US$56 billion, is “meeting lots of private capital investors and talking about doing deals and other opportunities here”, said a Singapore-based rival who spoke to the FT. “[They] have asked to keep [it] quiet for now."

The China unit, managed by Neil Shen, led early investments in Alibaba and ByteDance. Both companies have an extensive and growing presence in Singapore.

See also: Southeast Asian stock exchanges need to play a larger role to move the region’s PE market forward: Bain & Co

FT, citing a person who spoke to HongShan executives, said it could tap into growing demand from Chinese founders to set up operations there and rebrand itself as Singapore-based.

This move has been dubbed “Singapore-washing”, according to the FT, referring to Singapore's neutrality between US and China.

In response to the FT, HongShan said there's a “strong foundation of trust” with PeakXV and there would be opportunities for both teams to collaborate.

See also: Southeast Asia private equity capital deal value up 31% y-o-y to US$586 mil in 1Q2024: EY

“HongShan’s focus continues to be partnering with Chinese founders and supporting them on their globalisation journeys,” the FT reported.

Referring to HongShan, Peak XV said: “The opportunities for collaboration are far greater than the scope for competition.”

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