Soaring startups

Billion-dollar 'unicorns' thrive on radical ideas, big backers

Bin Lin, co-founder and president of Xiaomi, speaks on the Ninebot Mini, a personal transportation device, at a conference in Laguna Beach, California on Oct. 21.

TOKYO -- The startup world is full of unicorns, and while most of these not-so-mythical creatures -- defined as new ventures with a valuation of $1 billion or more -- can be found in the U.S., more and more are cropping up in China. As of October, there were 141 unicorns worldwide. These startups a...