A Chinese venture capitalist is sticking to his 10-point investment rule which includes not investing in companies that have female chief executive officers after his earlier statement at a public presentation in Beijing in early January drew criticism.
"If I could have had a chance to say it again, I would still list this as my investment principle," Luo Mingxiong told South China Morning Post's This Week in Asia.
The founder of venture capital firm Jingbei Investment sparked a public outcry in China when he suggested that in the corporate world, women are "as negative an attribute as dishonesty or an inability to learn".
"It's not because of any kind of prejudice. But just think about it carefully. What else do women do better than men except giving birth?" he asked his audience at the presentation in Beijing.
It is not just female CEOs that Luo's company steers clear of. He also said companies filled with female board members are another "red flag". He added: "If the company CEO is a man but a lot of the chairmen are women, we typically won't invest in [them] either."
His rationale? "Because it shows that the entrepreneur can't recruit equally excellent and ambitious male executives."
In the interview with the paper, Luo insisted that being an entrepreneur was not fair to women. "We, as male entrepreneurs, basically don't have to spend time taking care of family and children, but which female entrepreneurs could do that?"
He went further, insisting that women were different from men in terms of their strategy, vision and mentality. "Relatively speaking, it's not easy to be a female CEO and that's why we usually don't invest in them."
Luo also insisted that most investment firms in China shared his views.
The newspaper said that only 2.5% of Chinese CEOs are women. Despite the low figure, China ranks second behind the US and Canada's 3.2%, according to a 2014 report by the global consulting firm Strategy&.
Pocket Sun, the female founder of SoGal Ventures, a venture capital firm that invests in technology start-ups in the US and Asia, said: "When I heard of Luo's comment, I actually laughed. I was thinking to myself, 'He's missing out.' We will invest in female CEOs and make returns from them. He clearly doesn't see where the future of [the] economy is going."
Tech in Asia quotes Ken Xu, a partner of Gobi Ventures as saying: "In China, I think many people won't consider this sexist. If you see entrepreneurship as a type of work, they probably think female entrepreneurs are not well-suited for it."
Rui Ma, a former investor at 500 Startups concurred saying that such thinking was not as uncommon "as we hope. His reasons are pretty common."
"For entrepreneurs, especially CEOs, a lot of people are going for pure aggressiveness, ruthlessness, speed, especially in China. And that is seen as a very, very male trait, " she said.