Unicorns span a wide range of businesses, with online companies standing out. Photo: iStock
Unicorns span a wide range of businesses, with online companies standing out. Photo: iStock

There must be something about the number three and unicorns in China – unicorn is the term used in China for companies which have a market value of more than US$1 billion, or 6.28 billion yuan.

First, 33 new unicorns were created in China in the first quarter of this year, according to the Hurun Research Institute. The total number of unicorns in China is 151.

That means a new Chinese unicorn is born every three days.

Thirteen of these unicorns are super unicorns, which have a valuation of more than $10 billion, based on the latest Hurun Greater China Unicorn Index 2018 first quarter.

Three super super unicorns – Alibaba Group’s payment arm Ant Financial, ride-hailing firm Didi Chuxing and electrical and software conglomerate Xiaomi – are worth more than 300 billion yuan ($47.7 billion).

Read: Alibaba and Xiaomi could also list on the HK stock exchange

And finally, 10 of the new unicorns are from the internet sector. All are auspiciously tied to the number three, which means thriving in business. Five new unicorns come from the cultural and entertainment sector, while four others come from the transportation sector.

Newly added to the list in 2018 was Tencent Music, which commanded a valuation of 150 billion yuan, topping the list of three new unicorns in terms of valuation.

Read: Tencent rushes to spin off units to raise new funds

The youngest unicorn was Aiways Technology Co, an one-year-old Shanghai-based internet start-up focused on intelligent and electric vehicles, which secured three rounds of financing totaling 7 billion yuan last week.

Three unicorns, Ping An Good Doctor, U51 Credit Card and online video provider Inke, filed for initial public offerings in Hong Kong in the first quarter.

Online video provider iQiYi and Lexin Fintech were listed in the United States in the same period.

Where to look for the Chinese unicorns? Apparently Beijing is the place with 66, or 43% of the 151 unicorns, followed by 38 in Shanghai (25%) and 16 in Hangzhou (10%). The three provinces accounted for 80% of the birthplaces for Unicorns.

Forget Hong Kong and Macau. However, according to some media reports, ride-sharing operator GoGoVan, Fintech online lender company WeLab and smart phone rental Tink Labs are unicorns with a valuation of more than $1 billion each.