Soo.com (CEO Lee Seung-hoon) is the first South Korean company entering a Korea-China start-up Complex. The start-up complex is located in a large industrial complex created by the city of Chengdu, China, with an aim to attract global start-ups.
The Chinese government designated Chengdu as one of “national innovation regions” after Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen and created the start-up complex with an area of 4.3 million square meters. The area is 15 times larger than Yeouido.
CEO Lee chose Chengdu largely due to the growth and change of the city. With a population of about 15 million, Chengdu is considered one of China’s largest consumer market. The per capita gross domestic product (GDP) of Chengdu city reaches US$10,000 (11.27 million won, higher than Shanghai. Lee is a businessman with a wide variety of working experiences in the South Korean IT industry. He served as head of business development division at Cyworld, president at Interpark and director at CJ Management Research Institute.
An excellent support policy of the Chinese central and local governments is another factor that Lee decided to locate in Chengdu. Foreign companies entering the Chengdu industrial complex are offered with a free lease for three years. Soo.com extended the period to five years through negotiation. The companies can be provided with up to 350 million won (US$310,559) of funds for establishment. When they are selected as an excellent start-up, other various benefits are available. Enterprises which purchase products of selected companies will be funded up to 25 percent of the purchase prices as government subsidies. Foreign workers are also be offered a special temporary residence permit and foreign companies basically receive same benefits with domestic start-ups.
In this regard, China's Prime Minister Li Keqiang said, “Chengdu has the largest complex in the western region and has a large labor force. We are discussing to create the Korea-China Start-up Complex in Chengdu. Let South Korea and China work together to target the global market.” On May 12, the delegation of Sichuan Province visited South Korea and promoted the Korea-China Start-up Complex.