China has more 'unicorn' start-ups than the US

Chinese people take photos with iPhone and iPad during Bosideng Down Wear Collection on the third day of Mercedes-Benz China Fashion Week Autumn/Winter 2013/2014 at 751 D.PARK Workshop on March 26, 2013 in Beijing, China.

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China has the world’s largest number of “unicorns,” privately-held start-up firms valued at more than $1bn ($771m), according to a new report.

The country has produced 206 unicorns while the US has 203, the Hurun Institute reported showed.

Together the two countries are home to 83% of the world’s unicorns.

It comes as Washington and Beijing battle a trade war and compete to become the world’s technology leader.

Chinese financial payments company Ant Financial tops the list with a valuation of $150bn, followed by technology firm Bytedance at $75bn, and ride-sharing company Didi Chuxing.

“China and the US dominate with over 80% of the world’s known unicorns, despite representing only half of the world’s GDP and a quarter of the world’s population,” said Hurun Report chairman Rupert Hoogewerf.

The report comes at a time of tense relations between the world’s two largest economies.

The US and China have been embroiled in a trade battle for the past year, creating uncertainty for businesses and consumers around the world.

Their power struggle has also played out in the technology sector, with Chinese telecoms giant Huawei becoming a central part of their dispute.

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