Chinese tech news site 36kr focuses on the little guys

36kr’s database

Here’s some fun trivia: 36 is the atomic number of Krypton, the home planet of Superman. And making a reference to that factoid in its name, is the Chinese-language tech site 36kr.

It was initially launched by ChengCheng Liu (pictured below) and his friends at Peking University in 2012. Currently its editorial department has around fifty staff, and about 30 articles are released everyday. Five or six of those are typically startup-related articles. The site has approximately 20 million page views a month, with readers residing mostly in China or Chinese-speaking regions. And while other Chinese’s tech blogs cover overseas topics or news from big Chinese corporations like Tencent and Sina, 36Kr focuses on Chinese startups.


The company has been organizing startup events every two months in many cities in China, the US and Hong Kong. On November 10th, an event in Hangzhou attracted 1400 participants, with about one in three of them being entrepreneurs.

This past year the tech blog has covered more than 800 startups in total. In addition to publishing news articles, it has also been developing a startup database. The number of the registered startup projects is 15,000 to date, and it keeps adding about 50 projects everyday.

He was a student at Peking University when he launched the site. Even without developing the database, the company has broke even thanks to its news site and events.

But he is taking a bit of a risk by putting resources into database development, with 20 of their 50 staffers tied up in that project. Liu explained:

What we aim to do with this database is not just to provide information on which startup fundraises from which VC. We aim to collect information about which investors are behind the VC, and eventually I hope it develops into a sort of LinkedIn for the startup community. […] By doing this, we will be able to predict the action of investors and entrepreneurs before fundraising occurs.

36kr tracks not only investment, but also which startups investors are interested in. Liu’s aim in developing the database is to build startup culture, rather than to profit from it. He plans to create a one-stop service that offers entrepreneurs access to important information, products, and a network – all the necessary things to launch a startup.

In a way, the concept is similar to Creww Marketplace or e27’s Bundles.

36kr has an entrepreneur knowledge exchange event coming up this week in Shenzhen, and you can learn more about that here.