Recently, a “Saudi-Chinese” fund was set up to support new technology companies in Saudi Arabia with an estimated capital of around 1.5 billion riyals in a partnership between China’s Alibaba-backed eWTp and the Saudi State Investment Fund. and supported by the Saudi Cyber Security Federation.
In 2018, a group of Chinese investors and businessmen, led by Alibaba founder Jack Ma, launched the eWTP global e-commerce platform, which develops the infrastructure of the global digital economy, such as free trade zones and e-commerce projects for small and medium-sized companies. My investment in $600 million to support this platform.
At that time, many Chinese companies began to expand westward into South and Southeast Asia, and the next natural step was to expand into the Middle East and North Africa.
Bridges of cooperation have been built between the two regions, but they have slowed down as China has isolated itself from the rest of the world due to the pandemic, providing an even stronger incentive for Chinese startups to enter overseas markets.
A year later, eWTPA was established in Saudi Arabia with the support of the State Investment Fund and the allocation of 400 million US dollars to create a local digital ecosystem in the MENA region in partnership with Chinese companies and with the support of the Saudi Cyber Security Federation.
Since its inception in Riyadh, eWTPA has invested in 16 companies specializing in digital infrastructure, cloud services, cybersecurity, financial technology, e-commerce, logistics and digital entertainment in Saudi Arabia.
One of the largest of these projects was the joint venture between Ali Cloud and STC Group to form the Saudi Cloud Computing Company (SCCC) and J&T Express.
During the last quarter of this year, more than 200 Chinese and Asian companies visited the eWTP offices in Riyadh to gain a foothold in the region and gain some insight into their markets.
eWTP is currently raising another fund that will focus more on investing in start-ups in the region.