New VC fund to invest in start-ups and prize to attract talent also unveiled at ceremony in Beijing
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April 20th saw the launch of the China Cloud Industry Association (CCIA), a non-profit body set up by some of China's biggest internet firms that aims to drive development of the country's cloud computing industry.
CCIA is made up of partners including internet, communications and software firms such as Baidu, China Unicom, Lenovo, Alibaba, Tencent and Yongyou Software, venture capital fund China Broadband Capital Partners, higher education institutions such as Peking University and Beijing University of Aeronautics & Astronautics (BUAA) and other corporations including electronics firm TCL and Longfor Properties.
CCIA is the brainchild of Edward Tian, the founder and former president of AsiaInfo and Netcom who has championed cloud computing in China and is now chairman of China Broadband Capital Partners. Tian will co-chair CCIA along with Jinpeng Huai, president of BUAA.
Tian began by setting up the Cloud Valley initiative in Beijing, an attempt to create a complete supply chain for cloud computing in China. Cloud Valley and industry portal China-cloud.com (which is the very organizer of CCIA ceremony) received investment from Yahoo founder Jerry Yang, Newscorp's Rupert Murdoch and Trend Micro chairman Zhang Minzheng.
These initial investors were followed by some of China's best-known tech entrepreneurs, including Baidu's Robin Li, Lenovo's Yuanqing Yang, TCL's Dongsheng Li and Tencent's Pony Ma.
The partners then set up a body that has developed into today's CCIA, which is a non-profit organization aiming to promote the industry by setting standards, sharing data, training personnel and offering business cooperation opportunities. CCIA will also serve as a platform to lobby for policy support and R&D exchange.
Two other initiatives were also launched at the CCIA ceremony. The first Internet Contest for Cloud and Mobile Computing aims to attract and incubate cloud and mobile computing start-ups run by university students and other young talent.
And a USD 10 million angel investment fund set up by a cohort of VC firms led by China Broadband Capital Partners will target investments in these in fledgling cloud computing firms.
The CCIA ceremony was attended by senior representatives from government bodies, including Yang Xueshan, Vice Minister of Industry and Information Technology, Zhu Yan, deputy secretary-general of Beijing Municipal Government and Wang Rufang, deputy director of Zhongguancun Park.