After over three decades of development, China's 169 national high-tech industrial development zones (HIDZs) have become the backbone of the country's scientific innovation and industrial upgrading.
The world's first U disk, China's first supercomputer, and its first AI chip, were all created in these zones.
In 2019, the combined GDP of China's HIDZs reached 12.2 trillion yuan, accounting for 12.3% of the country's total GDP. They also contributed 11.8% of China's tax revenue, that is, 1.9 trillion yuan. The export volume of these zones increased to 4.1 trillion yuan during the same period, up 11% year on year.
By the end of 2019, they hosted 81,000 high-tech enterprises, accounting for more than one third of China's total, including household names such as Huawei, Tencent, Alibaba, Baidu and Xiaomi.
They also generated a batch of world-class innovative industrial clusters, such as the new-generation information technology in Zhongguancun Science Park, optoelectronics in Wuhan Optics Valley, and integrated circuits in Shanghai's Zhangjiang Hi-tech Park.
In 2019, the R&D spending of national HIDZs went up to 825.9 billion yuan, nearly half of all the R&D expense of enterprises nationwide.
There were 2.64 million R&D personnel in these national HIDZs, and the number of R&D personnel per 10,000 employees increased to 822.1, 13.8 times more than the country's average.
The enterprises in these zones own 858,000 invention patents, and the invention patent ownership of per 10,000 employees came up to 388, 11.3 times more than the national average.
Thanks to their unique advantage in digital economy, the zones showed a great resilience during the COVID-19 pandemic, registering a higher growth than the national average. Industries like software and information services, online retail and AI have become key forces in supporting their growth.
China's high-tech industrial development zones will remain open to international cooperation and serve as a significant platform for China to better integrate into international industrial and supply chains.
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