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Guangdong leads nation in 'little giants'

Updated: Aug 24, 2023 By ZHENG CAIXIONG in Guangzhou Print
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A technician with Vector Builder Inc in Guangzhou's Huangpu district uses fluorescence microscopy to observe the transduction efficiency of certain viruses in cells. Vector Builder was shortlisted in the fifth batch of little giants. [Photo provided to]

Guangdong province has led the country in nurturing innovative small and medium-sized enterprises — or little giants — showing the province's strength in innovation.

According to the Guangdong Department of Industry and Information Technology, the province has 658 enterprises in the fifth batch of shortlists of little giants that were released recently by various provinces, municipalities, regions and cities specifically designated in the State plan.

The latest figure has helped bring Guangdong's total number of little giants to 1,525, the most in the country. Guangdong already had 867 little giants after the first four lists were released in previous years.

It is followed by the provinces of Jiangsu (1,505), Zhejiang (1,457) and Shandong (1,064), and by Beijing municipality (834).

Altogether, China now has more than 10,000 little giants.

Designated by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the term little giants refers to SMEs that typically specialize in niche sectors, command high market share and boast strong innovative capacity.

Wang Fuqiang, director of the department of industrial planning at the China Center for International Economic Exchanges, said Guangdong's growing number of little giants shows the province's improvement in technological innovation in recent years, strengthening the backbone of Guangdong's manufacturing industry.

Guangdong's little giants are mainly concentrated in strategic industrial clusters, including next-generation electronic information, high-end equipment, cutting-edge new materials, block chain and quantum information, semiconductors and integrated circuits, advanced materials and biopharmaceuticals, Wang said.

The province has introduced a series of policies and measures to nurture little giants in recent years. Through policy guidance, service, innovation and optimization of the business environment, Guangdong has established and improved a gradient cultivation system for high-quality SMEs, authorities said.

To help SMEs solve their financing difficulties, the provincial government has guided and encouraged major banks and financial institutions to launch exclusive products for SMEs in recent years.

Since 2022, various financial institutions and banks have provided financing of more than 150 billion yuan ($20.6 billion) for more than 11,000 SMEs.

Sun Qinglin, director of the financing promotion section of the Guangdong Department of Industry and Information Technology, said the province's goal is to nurture more than 2,000 little giants by the end of 2027 and promote and encourage more than 150 new SMEs to go public.

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