Private equity and venture capital investments in China's telecommunications, media and technology industries reached a record US$15.56 billion in the first half of this year, led by more than 500 internet-related deals. That amount nearly equalled last year's total of US$15.89 billion as the country's red-hot e-commerce and mobile services markets continued to attract huge investments, according to the new MoneyTree report released by PwC. Data from KPMG and CB Insights showed that Tencent Holdings-backed Dianping, China's largest restaurant review and group-buying services provider, topped investment activity in the first half, when it raised US$850 million in April from its latest funding round. It was followed by taxi-hailing app operator Kuaidi Dache, which raised US$600 million in January. This company merged with rival Didi Dache in February to form Didi Kuaidi, now China's leading ride-hailing app operator. China saw a total of 2,525 private equity and venture capital investments, worth US$25.4 billion, in all industries during the first half, the PwC report said. Of that overall number, there were 1,126 deals made in the telecommunications, media and technology industries. Gao Jianbin, PwC China leader for its telecommunications, media and technology practice, said those three industries generated investments in the first half that marked "a historical high since 2012 in both deal value and deal volume". There were 518 internet-related deals in the first half of this year, which cornered US$6.57 billion of the private equity and venture capital funding in telecommunications, media and technology. The 333 telecommunications-based transactions during the same period generated funding of US$2.17 billion. Investments on 224 information technology-related deals reached US$4.02 billion, while 51 media and entertainment deals raised US$2.8 billion. Beijing led the PwC report's ranking of the top locations for private equity and venture capital investments in China's telecommunications, media and technology industries, with 313 deals worth US$6.16 billion in the first half. Shanghai followed with 146 deals totalling US$2.74 billion. In the first half, 433 companies in the telecommunications, media and technology industries were first-time recipients of private equity and venture capital funding. This group was led by 189 internet-based companies. "We see continued investment in these strategic industries, which is highly encouraged by the Chinese government," said Wilson Chow, the leader for assurance services at PwC China and Hong Kong's telecommunications, media and technology practice. The prospects for record investments in the second half of this year already look promising. Didi Kuaidi alone raised US$3 billion from its latest round of financing early this month.