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China is the single biggest story in investment banking right now.
From the highly-acquisitive Chinese companies driving the mergers-and-acquisitions market to the plethora of growing private startups that could shape the future of the initial public offering market - every deal maker on Wall Street is scrambling to "get in on China."
China Renaissance CEO and founder Fan Bao is already at the heart of this story.
His recent accomplishments include the $1.78 billion US listing of JD.com, the $286 million IPO of microblogging app Weibo, and single-handedly pulling off the merger of the ride-hailing rivals Didi Dache and Kuaidi Dache.
After seven years in banking and a short stint with a Beijing-based startup, Bao founded China Renaissance in 2004 to advise the flourishing community of Chinese tech entrepreneurs seeking high-quality advice that were too small to attract the attention of bulge-bracket firms.
Business Insider caught up with Bao in San Francisco this week while he was in town meeting with the Silicon Valley investing community. He was also speaking at the 2016 Bloomberg Techology Conference.
This interview has been edited for clarity and length.
Portia Crowe: Let's talk about the initial public offering, or IPO, space. The biggest IPO in the US was a Chinese company, Alibaba. But Jack Ma has said he regrets coming to the US. Do you find yourself having to address that with clients?
Fan Bao: Did he really mean that, that he regrets that? It's easy to say that after raising $20 billion here.
We just got a license to operate in China as an issuer - a security firm - so I started dealing with the domestic market a couple of years ago. I find that the two markets are very different. The domestic market is very much retail-driven as of today; 85% of investors are retail investors, whereas here I think...
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