Pandemic, Strained U.S. China Relations Force Investors to Pivot

Francesca Billington

Francesca Billington is a freelance reporter. Prior to that, she was a general assignment reporter for dot.LA and has also reported for KCRW, the Santa Monica Daily Press and local publications in New Jersey. She graduated from Princeton in 2019 with a degree in anthropology.

Pandemic, Strained U.S. China Relations Force Investors to Pivot
Photo by Morning Brew on Unsplash

Tensions between the U.S. and China — the world's two largest economies — and the pandemic are making U.S. investors rethink supply chains once largely dependent on Asia.

That's one of the takeaways from a virtual panel hosted Thursday by the Asia Society Southern California and dot.LA on venture capital in Southern California and Asia.


"Only 63% of U.S. manufacturing is fully utilized," said Eric Manlunas, founder and managing partner of Wavemaker Partners. His firm has recently invested in companies that are helping bring manufacturing back to the United States, after years of offshoring.

Especially during the pandemic, many want to become less reliant on Asian supply chains, he said. "All the saber-rattling Trump has done has created some need for some of these large product suppliers and manufacturers to start looking into on-shoring a lot to the U.S."

Investors are closely watching the strained trade relations between the U.S. and China, from the Trump Administration's ban on TikTok to the recent export restrictions targeting state-owned enterprises.

Many are betting tensions will all blow over soon and not have an overall chilling effect.

"This will subside. Americans have very, very shallow memories and this will be forgotten pretty quickly," Manlunas said.

Chinese investment has flourished in Los Angeles. Companies like Baidu, Tencent, Alibaba and Wanda Group are putting money behind startups that want a toehold in the Asian market.

Wavemaker Partners, co-headquartered in Santa Monica and Singapore, announced last month it would close its third and largest fund focused on Southeast Asia.

https://twitter.com/frosebillington
francesca@dot.la

Subscribe to our newsletter to catch every headline.

Cadence

Netflix's New Culture Memo Addresses Censorship and Corporate Secrecy

Kristin Snyder

Kristin Snyder is an editorial intern for dot.la. She previously interned with Tiger Oak Media and led the arts section for UCLA's Daily Bruin.

Netflix's New Culture Memo Addresses Censorship and Corporate Secrecy
Photo by Venti Views on Unsplash

Netflix promised change after its poor first-quarter earnings. One of the first targets: the Netflix Culture document.

The changes, which Variety reported on Thursday, indicate a new focus on fiscal responsibility and concern about censorship. While promises to support honest feedback and open decision-making remain, the memo’s first update in almost five years reveals that the days of lax spending are over. The newly added “artistic expression” section emphasizes Netflix’s refusal to censor its work and implores employees to support the platform’s content.

Read more Show less

‘Raises’: Mahmee Secures $9.2M, Wave Financial Launches $60M Fund

Decerry Donato

Decerry Donato is dot.LA's Editorial Fellow. Prior to that, she was an editorial intern at the company. Decerry received her bachelor's degree in literary journalism from the University of California, Irvine. She continues to write stories to inform the community about issues or events that take place in the L.A. area. On the weekends, she can be found hiking in the Angeles National forest or sifting through racks at your local thrift store.

Raises
Image by Joshua Letona
In this week’s edition of “Raises”: It was another slow week on the deal front, but one maternal health startup, with a mission to fight maternal mortality, landed a deal with growth equity business Goldman Sachs. Meanwhile, a Los Angeles-based investment firm is launching its 8th digital asset fund of $60 million.
Read more Show less
RELATEDEDITOR'S PICKS
LA TECH JOBS
interchangeLA
Trending