kpcb.gifKleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers, one of the best-known VC firms in Silicon Valley, has belatedly joined its rivals in setting up an office in China.

The move represents a “watershed”
for Silicon Valley, according to the Financial Times, as VC firms based
in the Valley have traditionally felt they have more than enough
opportunities at home to risk expanding overseas, least of all in an
unknown country like China.

Nevertheless, in recent years the VC world has woken up to China,
not least because of the widely-held belief that the next Google will
come out of China rather than the west. This explains the intense VC
interest in consumer-focussed internet and wireless start-ups in China.

While rivals Sequoia Capital, Accel Partners and Mayfield have
already set up in Beijing, veteran Kleiner has opted to move more
cautiously until it found the right local partner. It took more than
two years to strike a deal with TDF Capital, which has a well-established reputation and network in China.

Kleiner said it had hired four general partners to head its new
offices in Beijing and Shanghai, led by Tina Ju and Joe Zhou. Ju,
former MD and co-founder of TDF Capital has specialised in early-stage
internet investments, backing a number of leading Chinese companies.

The KPCB China team plans
to invest its new $360m China Fund in high-growth industries, including
technology, internet, media and wireless communications. The Fund will
also invest in China's consumer boom, healthcare and environmental

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