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Shenzhen is a microcosm of Chinese innovation

(Xinhua)    08:24, December 20, 2017

SHENZHEN, Dec. 19 (Xinhua) -- Innovation saw this boomtown of Shenzhen in south China's Guangdong Province have the third highest gross domestic product in the country in 2016, following Shanghai and Beijing.

Statistics authorities of Guangdong earlier this month published a revised version of last year's GDPbased on a new calculating method taking into account of expenditure on research and development (R&D), which was previously excluded.

Shenzhen's GDP exceeded 2 trillion yuan (302 billion U.S. dollars), 58.6 billion yuan more than the previous calculation, replacing the provincial capital of Guangzhou as the third in the ranking.

In July, China's State Council approved the calculation method, which is in line with international standards, to recognize innovation in the economy.

China has been relying on innovation as a major engine for growth. At the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, which charted the course for the country's future development, innovation was widely encouraged, and labeled as the primary driving force behind development.

INNOVATION RULES

In many ways, Shenzhen can be seen as a microcosm of China's innovation-based development.

The city has made a dramatic transformation from a tiny fishing enclave in the 1970s, to an innovation hub hosting some of China's most successful tech companies and startups.

Shenzhen-based tech giant Huawei said it spent 11 billion U. S. dollars on R&D last year, compared to 10 billion U.S. dollars spent by Apple Inc.

Two years after its founded in 2012, the Royole company rolled-out the world's thinnest bendable screens, which if used on an iPad, would allow it to be folded to the size of an iPhone.

Drone maker DJI has pioneered the development of drones, gaining 80 percent of global market share.

Shenzhen spent over 80 billion yuan on R&D in 2016, accounting for 4.1 percent of its GDP, comparing to 33.3 billion yuan in 2010.

According to the Ministry of Science and Technology, China's spending on R&D reached 1.54 trillion yuan in 2016, accounting for 2.1 percent of GDP.

INNOVATORS UNITE

Cities around Shenzhen are joining hands seeking to maximize their innovation might.

Guangdong wants to build a Chinese Silicon Valley and in September approved a plan to establish the Guangzhou-Shenzhen Science and Technology Innovation Corridor, vowing to make it a world-class hi-tech industry innovation center by 2050.

The economic belt, stretching more than 180 kilometers, covers an area of 11,836 square km, including the cities of Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Dongguan. The three cities are home to over 78 percent of hi-tech enterprises and 60 percent of advanced R&D institutions in the Pearl River Delta.

Chen Zaiqi, researcher with Guangdong Academy of Social Sciences, said the resources would boost innovation-driven development in the corridor as well as integrated development of free trade zones in the delta and the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.

Liu Zunyi, an official with Shenzhen Finance Institute, said that to save costs and boost development more effort was needed in the flow of services, talent, capital and information between all cities in the region.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Liang Jun, Bianji)

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