Chinese VCs Lived the Silicon Valley High Life. Now the Party’s Over

Michael made his fortune in electronics, starting an appliance company right out of college. He rode the astronomical growth of China’s economy in the early 21st century, selling his company to one of the country’s tech giants. In late 2011, he moved to the US—partly motivated, he says, by a huge sandstorm that had affected his children’s health. He settled in Irvine, California, and was soon invited into an exclusive club of investors, wealthy Chinese entrepreneurs who had made their own ways in real estate, mining, and IT.

The next few years were a whirlwind. Friends in China kept calling him, asking if he could connect them to people in

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