The head of Sinovation’s U.S. office left the firm late last year, according to people familiar with the matter. Kai-Fu Lee’s firm has pulled back alongside many other Chinese investors who are struggling to put money to work in the current political environment.
The brewing trade war between the U.S. and China is starting to have a significant impact on the market — U.S. stocks suffered their steepest drop since January on Monday as investors feared the prospect of higher tariffs.
But in Silicon Valley, that tension has been playing out for months, to the point where many Chinese investors simply aren’t doing deals. One of the most notable departures is Sinovation Ventures, the firm started by former Google China president Kai-Fu Lee, who opened a U.S. investing operation in 2013.