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Beijing steps up plan to become global high-tech, innovation hub

By Zhao Shiyue | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2022-09-09 14:38

A view of the Zhongguancun Science City on Sept 7, 2022. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

China's capital Beijing has been speeding up construction of the international high-tech and innovation center in recent years, with three scientific cities and an economic development zone as the main platform to effectively support the country's technological independence and self-reliance.

Zhongguancun Science City, Huairou Science City, Future Science City as well as the Yizhuang Economic Development Zone cover less than 6 percent of Beijing's city area, but they generate about one-third of the capital's GDP, official statistics showed.

Boasting a group of companies and research institutes in blockchain, semiconductor, quantum information, integrated circuit and network security, Zhongguancun saw its research and development fees hit 239.30 billion yuan ($34.49 billion) in 2021, an increase of 20.4 percent year-on-year.

The number of unicorns totaled 50 in Zhongguancun, second only to Silicon Valley in the United States. Last year, high-tech enterprises there generated gross revenue over 3.5 trillion yuan, up 19.3 percent from 2020.

Moreover, Zhongguancun has yielded fruitful results in encouraging innovation and entrepreneurship, with solid steps taken to create a fair and favorable business environment.

For example, more than 140 small and medium-sized enterprises in the area have been subsidized in renting offices. Preferential policies have been issued to introduce high-end talents, especially postdocs in artificial intelligence, chip and quantum research to work in Zhongguancun. The protection of intellectual property rights has also been enhanced.

Currently, there are 1,548 specialized and sophisticated SMEs in the area, accounting for 37.4 percent of Beijing's total.

Zhongguancun's invention patents per 10,000 people is 617.2 pieces, 3 times more than the average of Beijing.

Huairou Science City in Huairou district and Future Science City in Changping district cover 100.9 and 170.6 square kilometers, respectively, aiming to establish a world-class scientific platform and demonstration zone along with Zhongguancun.

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