In the past, China has always followed and imitated Silicon Valley, but in the mobile era, China is no longer a follower and “Made in China 2025” let the country became an hi-tech leader
According to recent data, there is more than single Silicon Valley in China. The Chinese tech race is fueled by long-term economic development policies centered on the five-year plan launched in 2015. Internet Plus project and Made in China 2025 are just the tip of the iceberg, and perhaps the best known of these leadership plans.
But those hi-tech hubs where are based? Let’s see how Beijing, Shenzhen, Hangzhou, Chengdu and Xian, five different cities placed in different areas with no same development history, are leading the country to so called “hi-tech Great Leap”.
Beijing is opening its doors: the “Northen capital” is chinese “unicorns” paradise
©Wu Yi, Piazza Tian An Men. Beijing is Chinese startup main hub. JD, Lenovo and the PRC tech giant have here HQ.
The northern district of Beijing, Haidian, is home to the Silicon Valley of the north. Flanked by tall skyscrapers inhabited by Stone Group, Lenovo, and Baidu, this region is attracting still more hi-tech companies including Intel, Oracle, and Sony.
Microsoft built a US$280 million research lab with over 5,000 employees in Beijing, and even Google has inaugurated a research lab with the support of the city government. Plus Ren Yuxiang, vice president of Tesla Motor, in an interview with The Beijing News, confirmed that a center of technological innovation is about to be opened in Beijing by Tesla Motors.
Perhaps most exciting of all for foreigners looking to get a piece of China’s tech innovation is the inception of the ten-year working visa. Beijing is preparing to welcome those skilled professionals fleeing other countries who are highly qualified in their fields. But in order to satisfy its hi-tech hypes, today, Beijing fuels brain drain by welcoming skilled professionals with new ten-year visa.
Shenzhen, PRC first Silicon Valley, is home to tech manufacturing, automation, and the robots that will fill tomorrow’s factories
©Denys Nevozhai, Shenzhen skyline. Tencent or drone maker DJI have here their HQ. From fisherman village, Shenzhen is now one of the most advanced city in the world.
Until the late 1970s Shenzhen was a small Chinese town bordering Hong Kong with less than 300,000 inhabitants. Since 1979 the Chinese government decided to start an experiment and declared Shenzhen the country’s first Special Economic Zone (or SEZs).
What are the results after about 40 years? Shenzhen, this small fishing village turned megalopolis of China’s South. According to the 13th Five Year Plan, this city will spend 5% of its annual GDP BY 2020 replacing traditional factories with automation. The cutting edge of robotics, hardware, and manufacturing passes through Shenzhen before hitting the global markets.
Shenzhen is home base of Chinese internet giant Tencent, plus, is also the birthplace of some of the world’s renowned Chinese gadget makers, from smartphone maker Huawei Technologies to drone maker DJI, where proximity to the factories in southern Guangdong province has played to their advantage.
Hangzhou: from capital of culture to capital of e-commerce, thanks to Alibaba
©Alessio Lin, Hangzhou West Lake. Also knowed “Chinese e-commerce capital”, Hangzhou is now an innovative hi-tech hub.
Hangzhou can thank Jack Ma for putting it on the map. As home to Alibaba, Hangzhou has earned the title of ‘e-commerce capital of China’. In April 2016, the government designated the city as one of China’s 10 cross-border e-commerce pilot cities giving it preferential status to facilitate tax policy and handle foreign goods.
Hangzhou was well knowed in the past as one of the most “cultured” Chinese Empire cities. Poets and painters described its beauty, but now Zhejiang capital city is home to the “dotcoms platforms”. Together with Shanghai, Hangzhou forms the Economic Zone of the Yangtze River Delta, one of the most dynamic and innovate clusters in China.
Chengdu Takes Up the High-Tech Challenge and It Is a Success!
©人民网，Hi-tech Industrial Development Zone (CDHT) in Chengdu.
Thanks to a relevant position within the new Silk Road routes, Chengdu took up the Made in China 2025 challenge with amazing successes. While PRC is preparing for its leadership role in the field of innovation, the “panda town” is growing as a new global hi-tech hub.
This heavenly land has found success in the thriving Chinese luxury market and it is now considered the third largest luxury market in China, after Beijing and Shanghai. However, behind the loud Louis Vuitton and Cartier’s signs, an emerging market made the city of abundance essential for the Chinese economy: the hi-tech market.
With the aim of becoming a technology hub and the goal of attracting global talents and enterprises, the Chengdu Hi-tech Industrial Development Zone (CHIDZ) established in 1988, actually ranks the 4th among all China’s state-level high-tech zones. This high-tech development area has promoted countless Chinese technology companies to help them enter the international arena.
Half of the laptop chips and two-thirds of all iPads are produced in Chengdu, whose IT industry has generated 480billion yuan in revenue just last year. According to the city’s expectations, this figure will reach 1trillion yuan by 2020. Chengdu’s GDP has already surpassed $160 billion last year, with an increase of 7.7% from the previous year.
Xian, terracotta warrior city is now leading Chinese aersospace industry
©Xinhua, Terracotta warrior, Xian. Its central position allows for strategic growth and development, and a future as China’s fourth pole of production.
With a population of 8.5 million, Xian is the largest city in the Shaanxi province, but today, this city is also a base for scientific research, higher education, defense, and other hi-tech industries. Why Xian has some way to go to become an innovation hub?
Here are bases PRC most important aerospace industries, such as Xian Aircraft Industrial Corporation, or those companies that produce aircrafts or spaceships components such as carbon fiber materials. Not only “stars and clouds”, Xian-based engineers are PRC frontrunner for Chinese 5g technology.
Xi’an Hi-tech Industries Development Zone (XHTZ), established in 1991, was one of the earliest Chinese science parks at the national level, and it is regarded as one of the most successful of the 114 national high-tech zones. Thus, in 2014, the State Intellectual Property Office evaluated and selected the Xi’an Hi-tech Industries Development Zone as a national intellectual property demonstration zone.
Without doubt Shenzhen, Beijing and Hangzhou are China’s hi-tech frontrunners, while Chengdu and Xian are still rising city. Of course clusters such as Guangzhou, Shanghai or Tianjin are relevant too, so what those cities have in common? The answer is “Made in China 2025”, that business plan that already shaked up the high-tech world.
Launched in 2015, this economic program is aimed at increasing China competitiveness, moving the country’s manufactured goods up the value chain. That’s why “Made in China 2025” stands at the heart of the trade war between the US. and China. But Beijing is moving forward with its “hi-tech champions”.