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‘BATS’ Breed New China Entrepreneurs

In Silicon Valley, it can seem like every other startup founder has Google, Apple or Facebook on his or her resume.

China is starting to see its own spin on the trend. A growing group of entrepreneurs are breaking away from the country’s growing tech behemoths: Baidu, Alibaba Group Holding, Tencent Holdings and Sina. Venture capitalists call them “BATS.”

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BATS alumni are largely staying in China, where they see big opportunities. Jonathan Dillon, former head of international business for Baidu, decided to start Ad2china in 2013 because he saw it was hard for non Chinese companies to buy ads on Chinese websites.  The startup, which works with advertising agencies and directly with clients, buys ads for companies like Porsche, Bentley and Bose on sites like Baidu and Sina. Mr. Dillon declined to comment on the company’s revenue.

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Earlier generations of Chinese entrepreneurs came from American companies, straight out of computer science programs or from other industries.