Over $240 Million Assets Belonging to Chinese Drugmakers Exposed After Silicon Valley Bank Failure

NTD Newsroom
By NTD Newsroom
March 14, 2023SVB Collapse

Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) has collapsed. With $212 billion in assets, SVB marks the largest U.S. bank failure since 2008.

The news is making waves in America, with ripples also spanning across the Pacific to investors and startups in China. Chinese biotech companies alone have more than $240 million deposited in the bank.

SVB’s website says it’s been operating in China for more than 20 years through a Chinese joint venture. It was popular among China-based venture capital firms and was one of the first banks to serve Chinese startups.

A dozen Chinese firms have issued statements since SVB collapsed. Most are biotech companies trying to pacify investors and clients, saying their exposure to the bank was limited.

Among the hardest-hit companies is BeiGene, one of China’s largest cancer-focused drugmakers. It said Monday it had more than $175 million in uninsured cash deposits at SVB, representing about 4 percent of its cash and short-term investments.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently approved a drug from BeiGene for treating a certain type of leukemia.

In second place, biotech company Brii Bio is also taking a major hit. It had $42 million in cash and short-term investments in SVB, about 9 percent of the company’s cash deposits.

Brii Bio was part of the effort to launch the first combination therapy for COVID-19 in China.

Another pharmaceutical firm, Zai Lab, announced that its cash deposits at SVB were “immaterial” at about $23 million.

These three Chinese companies, plus others, say SVB’s closure won’t impact their operations or payroll.

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