By Red Herring

Investments into China’s technology industry fell by 31% in the first quarter of 2020, as the COVID-19 outbreak battered the country’s economy. VC into the sector was $16.8 billion this Q1, compared to $24.6bn the same term last year.

The downturn was already in motion before Coronavirus caused China and dozens of other nations to lock down their citizens and freeze entire industries. China’s slide will continue as it maintains preventative measures amid the pandemic, which its ruling Communist Party claims has cost 3,331 lives. The true figure is thought to be far higher.

Not only the amount of money but the number of investors into China’s tech businesses has sunk from Q1 2019 to the same quarter this year – from 1,143 to 634. The drop contributes to a longterm slowing of Chinese tech known locally as a “capital winter.”

With entire cities—including Wuhan, believed to be the virus’ epicenter—still on lockdown, the nation’s startups will continue to struggle. Under a hundred startups were founded in Q1 2020, as Coronavirus ravages Europe and the United States.