Once a frequent investor in Chinese software firms, Lian now sees China as a riskier investment as the economy is clouded by the nation’s autocratic turn under President Xi Jinping and ongoing “zero COVID” lockdowns.
In a conversation with Al Jazeera, Lian told that he had started gradually lowering his exposure since 2021 as that was the time when the downward trend had become obvious. He has sold off his holdings this year as things seem to have gotten worse.
He further stated that his main worry as an investor was instability. At the moment, China’s general climate is unstable, and this affects more than just the financial industry.
Lian is one of an increasing number of foreign investors who are abandoning China after several years of record inflows.
Between February and May, there was a USD 61 billion sell-off in Chinese bonds alone. Approximately USD 300 billion could leave the country this year, more than twice the USD 129 billion that left last year, according to predictions made by the Institute of International Finance, a think tank based in Washington.
As investors evaluate the risks of harsh COVID restrictions and broad crackdowns on private enterprise, which have ensnared industries ranging from tech to real estate and education, the tendency reflects an increasingly pessimistic economic picture.
After growing by 4.8% in the first quarter, China’s economy barely escaped contraction in the second quarter, expanding by just 0.4%.
The impacts of the crackdown on the IT industry last year, which wiped out the stock values of big giants like Alibaba, Tencent, and Didi, are still being felt, according to Lian.
Currently, he is appointed as the Chief Digital Advisor at Mongolia Productivity Organization, championing national digitization. Prior to his current appointments, he was the Chairman of BigONE Exchange, a global top 30 ranked crypto spot exchange and was also the Advisory Board Member for Hyundai DAC, the blockchain arm of South Korea’s largest car manufacturer Hyundai Motor Group. Lian played a pivotal role as the Blockchain Advisor for Asian Productivity Organisation (APO), an intergovernmental organization committed to improving productivity in the Asia-Pacific region.
An avid supporter of incubating start-ups, Anndy has also been a private investor for the past eight years. With a growth investment mindset, Anndy strategically demonstrates this in the companies he chooses to be involved with. He believes that what he is doing through blockchain technology currently will revolutionise and redefine traditional businesses. He also believes that the blockchain industry has to be “redecentralised”.