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Chairman of Silicon Valley Bank: We help Chinese startups in China and Silicon Valley

By Han Shasha (People's Daily Online)

14:29, April 15, 2013

"We help the Chinese companies in the innovation space for many years,” said Ken Wilcox, Chairman of the Silicon Valley Bank during an interview conducted by People’s Daily Online in San Francisco.

Actually, SVB Financial Group has been involved in China since 1999. For more than a decade, SVB has been building relationships with technology companies, entrepreneurs and venture capitalists. In 2012, Silicon Valley Bank established a joint-venture bank in China, SPD Silicon Valley Bank, with the Shanghai Pudong Development Bank, which has been considered as the model bank for innovation in China.

Mr. Ken Wilcox said that SVB has three major activities in China. One of them are funds business, and the second one is offshore dollar business. He specified that a lot of foreign investors are investing in China by using U.S. Dollars. “We help all those technology companies that have offshore investors manage their offshore dollars and bring them into China and use them properly.”

He said the third one will be the biggest over time. That is the joint venture bank. The joint venture bank offers onshore China banking products and services, including trade finance, foreign exchange, U.S. dollar deposits and loans. He said the bank right now is focusing on innovation space in China that are using onshore dollar. He mentioned this because it is not allowed to use renminbi yet. In China, setting a brand new foreign bank can not use RMB for three years. But he joked that the joint bank is more like a Chinese bank for almost all the employees are Chinese and the major clients are Chinese companies. So he hope the Chinese government can give the permission to use renminbi soon.

Based in Silicon Valley, SVB also helps the Chinese companies that invest there. He said that the bank has a department called “Global Gateway” and they are trying to help the Chinese companies when they come to Silicon Valley, to California, actually anywhere in the United States get started by giving them some assistance in terms of figuring out what the regulations are and how they can get started.

Some Chinese companies will meet obstacles when opening business in foreign countries. When asking about his opinion on the difficulties facing Chinese investors in the United States, he said, “I think that as China and U.S. work more and more with each other and become more and more familiar with each other, a lot of the barriers will get overcome. I have no doubt about that."

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