Now that the Chinese stock market is falling to levels last see a year and a half ago, one fertile area for Chinese venture capitalists (VC) and others is investing in local financial technology (fintech) startups. This has driven total funding in Asia to a new high, KPMG said in a report Thursday.

During the first quarter, venture capitalists poured $2.4 billion of investment into Chinese fintech companies, up from $300 million in the fourth quarter.

Seeding Chinese tech firms is also turning into a hot area for foreign VCs and other overseas investors who have a long view on China.

Financial technology is a line of businesses that apply technology to financial services such as mobile transactions. This is just one of the many new emerging technology areas, such as biotechnology, telecoms, commercial space/navigation, and medical research where Chinese firms are poised to pass the US.

For all of Asia, venture capitalists invested a total of $2.6 billion into fintech companies, a new high, compared to just $500 million in the previous quarter, the report said.

KPMG attributed the large investment to multiple opportunities for leveraging innovative fintech companies.

The report also noted that China accounted for almost half, 49%, of the $4.9 billion global investment recorded in the first quarter.

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