Plans to reimburse investors’ losses
Shanghai surprised entrepreneurs when it issued a bold pledge to investors last February. Several government departments issued a joint document promising to repay up to 60 percent of the losses, or up to 6 million yuan ($880,000), incurred by any company on investments in Shanghai-based technology startups.
The move is part of the city’s plan to become one of the country’s main innovation centers.
Several departments of Guangdong’s provincial government issued similar guidelines this year. They took effect in April.
The moves have raised eyebrows nationwide, with some people citing concern about wasteful spending.
Supporters praise officials’ determination to nurture tech startups. Skeptics ask if public funds may be mishandled and if taxpayers may be forced to reimburse private investors’ huge losses. Some question the capacity to detect fraudulent investment schemes aimed at duping the local
examines an exhibit at a cross-Straits entrepreneurs forum in Xiamen, Fujian province.
governments to get compensation.
Should government compensation be offered to encourage investment in technology?
It’s inappropriate for the government to use taxpayer money to cover private investors’ losses. Investors — not taxpayers — should be responsible for their own successes or failures.
The very definition of “venture capitalism” indicates that investments in seed companies or startups are risky. Shanghai’s and Guangdong’s governments will not attract real venture capitalists by offering to compensate their losses.