Chinese tech giant Founder to open Israel subsidiary

The company, worth over $5 billion, is one of the biggest – from China or anywhere else — to invest in Israel

President Reuven Rivlin (R.) and China's  former Ambassador to Israel Gao Yanping at an event in Tel Aviv commemorating National Day, the 65th anniversary of the founding of modern China (Photo credit: Courtesy)
President Reuven Rivlin (R.) and China's former Ambassador to Israel Gao Yanping at an event in Tel Aviv commemorating National Day, the 65th anniversary of the founding of modern China (Photo credit: Courtesy)

Founder Technologies, a subsidiary of the Founder Group, one of China’s biggest companies, is set to open a subsidiary in Israel, according to documents released by the company. In 2012, Founder it took in $9.9 billion and had a net worth of $5.2 billion, operating in 80 countries.

Now it’s adding Israel, the company said in documents filed with local regulatory authorities, establishing a company in Tel Aviv to be called FounderTech (Israel) Limited. The Israeli company will belong to Founder subsidiary Shanghai Founder Technology (HK) Limited, and will concentrate on providing smart cities solutions. Participating in projects to be developed in Israel will be two other Founder organizations, Founder International Software Co. and Founder Broadband Network Service Co.

Staff will be hired locally, and the Israel operation will seek to reach out and work with Israeli start-ups and tech firms to develop its solutions, the Founder documents said, with solutions to be marketed in Israel and abroad.

Founder, established by Peking University in 1986, is perhaps China’s biggest tech conglomerate, supplying software, hardware and services to companies in five major industry groups via its divisions: PKU Founder IT Group (IT), PKU Healthcare Group (health care and pharmaceuticals), PKU Resource Group (real estate), Founder Financial (finance), and Founder Commodities (commodities trading).

It’s the latest in a series of deals between Israel and China in recent weeks. Last week, Chinese pharmaceutical giant WuXi PharmaTech — one of the world’s largest medical research companies — announced that it would open an office in Israel to “promote WuXi’s broad platform of integrated R&D services to local customers.” It will also be on the lookout for promising investments in the biotech and medical devices spheres, in cooperation with its new partner Pontifax, a venture capital firm that specializes in medical industry investments. Before that, another Chinese life sciences firm, Fosun Pharmaceuticals, announced that it was investing Israel’s Check-Cap, developer of a new technology to allow for non-invasive colon cancer screening. Fosun led the round that brought an additional $12 million in financing to Check-Cap.

That announcement coincided with one by Israel’s Carmel Ventures, which established a new investment fund valued at $194 million, with the assistance of Chinese giants like web services provider Baidu, insurer Ping-An, and software company Qihoo360, among others.

The Founder announcement came as Chief Scientist Avi Hasson was leading the biggest “roadshow” of Israeli life science companies ever to visit China. The roadshow, which runs through mid-November, will feature 13 Israeli companies in life science industries such as pharmaceuticals, medical equipment, medical communication and software, bio-informatics and others visiting seven cities throughout China, where they will hold more than 700 meetings with potential investors and partners.

The roadshow, Hasson’s office said, “is another of the multi-tiered efforts the Office of the Chief Scientist at the Israeli Ministry of Economy is making to increase accessibility to the Chinese market by Israeli companies. In recent years, we have been making significant efforts to increase cooperation with China in light of the huge, as-yet untapped potential of this market. Experience shows that the roadshow’s activity yields real fruit for companies, by cementing deals and long term cooperation.”

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