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A new powerhouse to be reckoned with

By He Wei in Shanghai | China Daily | Updated: 2019-05-07 09:57

A robot built by Shanghai Tiger Technology Co Ltd is displayed during a media event in Zhangjiang Science City. [Photo provided to China Daily]

This science and tech ambition then came into full swing when its Party Secretary Li Qiang introduced the concept of promoting the city's four brands in late 2017. Through this initiative, Shanghai would encourage the incubation of core technologies and uphold Shanghai manufacturing as a core pillar in its development.

The municipal government also released new industry guidelines to bolster the development of emerging industries like medicine, smart manufacturing and intelligent cars.

The numbers show that Shanghai has spared no effort in driving technological breakthroughs. Last year, research and development spending in Shanghai accounted for 4 percent of its GDP, which was worth 3.27 trillion yuan ($488 billion). The number of patents per 10,000 residents had surged to 47.5, up from 13.3 in 2011.

The pursuit of its ambitions has also boosted the city's economic output. Shanghai's GDP broke the 3 trillion yuan threshold in 2017 and reached 3.27 trillion yuan last year. This figure is a whopping 1,000 times more than that of 1949, the founding year of the People's Republic of China, and 100 times that of 1978, when China first introduced the reform and opening-up policy.

Shanghai's per capita GDP, a broad gauge of living standards, jumped 250 times from 1949 to reach 135,000 yuan in 2018, exceeding the $20,000 threshold of a developed economy for the first time.

In addition, the bustling metropolis is a hotbed for venture capital investment and is regularly ranked second to Beijing in number of unicorns - startups that have a market valuation of $1 billion and up - according to a report by the Ministry of Science and Technology published last year.

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