China Internet

$150 Mil. USD fund for free software in China

Tangos Chan over at China Web 2.0 Review is reporting on a new 1 Billion RMB or $150 Mil. USD fund to invest in free software run by Sequoia China, Highland Capital and Qihoo 360. Note that this is ‘free as in beer’ free software, not ‘free and open source software’ such as Linux or Apache or Mozilla. It’s interesting to see these 3 particular entities working together on such a large fund for “free software.” It seems to imply that the “free software” market in China is at least significantly larger than that fund, and if there is a fund that large for free software, anyone in China hoping to make money on non-free software has to fight all of the current challenges as well as this new 1 billion RMB fund.

One reply on “$150 Mil. USD fund for free software in China”

My gut guess is that industrialized China sees software production as both its key weakness and the key strength of India.
So if it can somehow neutralize software as an economic component (as in something China doesn’t have to pay for and India can’t sell profitably), that’s good for China.
It won’t be a perfect strategy (some kinds of software will always be worth money) and it may be mostly defensive (it’s not obvious to me that India, in this formulatiion, is anything more than unlucky), but it’s my theory about the motivation here.

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