All posts by anthony@greaterbayinsight.com

Shenzhen supports digital projects with 3m grants

Shenzhen has opened applications for subsidies that can be worth up to 3 million yuan for projects focused on building digital public services. The promotion plan is aimed primarily at projects involving high-end software, innovative apps, data security, blockchain technology, Internet innovation, big data and cloud computing. Organizers of forums or exhibitions in these key areas may also apply.

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Marine economy adds oil

Guangdong’s marine industries generated output of 1.7 trillion yuan in 2020, highest among the country’s 33 provinces for the 26th consecutive year. The cluster of industries accounted for 15.6% of regional GDP and 21.6% of the country’s total marine-industry output. This is largely concentrated in and around its major ports: Guangzhou (Nansha), Shenzhen Shekou and Yantian), Zhuhai, Dongguan and Zhanjiang. It includes six major marine industries: marine electronic information, offshore wind power, marine biology, marine engineering equipment, natural gas hydrates, and marine public services.

Shenzhen is in the vanguard of this effort, and is ploughing tens of billions of yuan into development of new marine-technology parks, with particular focus on the development of the marine biomedical industry. Parks built or underway include: Sino-European Blue Industrial Park, Ocean New City, Shenzhen International Biological Valley, National Southern Ocean Science City, and Dapeng Ocean Biological Industry Park.

Pingshan has more than 600 biopharmaceutical companies, while Dapeng New District Marine Biological Industrial Park has 61 projects, and the number of intellectual property projects obtained exceeds 120 (items). In 2020, the province’s marine biomedical industry generated output of 5.1 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 23.6%.

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Guangdong GDP up 18%

Latest data from the provincial government show that Guangdong’s economic recovery continued to set a strong pace the first four months of the year, with GDP rising 18.6% YoY, driven by surging industrial output and foreign trade.

Growth in industry came in at 25.1%, with the construction sector sizzling at 29.5%, while total foreign trade was up 30.3%. Exports shot up by 36.2%.

Investment came in at 28% growth, and although the services sector lagged behind overall at 15.6% growth, there was a surge in accommodation and catering, which was up 43%. Retail sales clocked 27.8% growth.

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Hottest May in Shenzhen

The average temperature in Shenzhen in May was 28.5℃, the highest ever recorded for the month, according to the local meteorological authority. The highest daily temperature of 35.0°C was the fifth highest ever in May. Moreover, it was also an exceptionally dry month, as the city’s average cumulative rainfall was just 114.2 mm, 52.6% less than the average over the past 5 years (of 240.8 mm). June is forecast for more rain, around 300-350 mm, which would be just 1-2% less than the average for the month over the past five years.  Typhoons are possible, but more likely to occur in mid-June.

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Loans surge for SME firms

Loans from banks to small and micro enterprises are booming in Shenzhen, according to official reports. As of the end of April 2021, total outstanding loans to SMEs were up by 44.4% year-on-year; reaching 844,400 companies, an increase of 46.8% year-on-year. Foreign companies were even more favored: loans to them rose by 76.3% year-on-year. So far this year, more than 10,000 companies have obtained bank loans for the first time.

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Universities keep top 10 rankings

Times Higher Education has released its 9th Asian University Rankings, with 31 universities in mainland China ranked among the top 100. Tsinghua University and Peking University continued to occupy the top two positions, while three universities from Hong Kong were in the Top 10: HKU at 4th, Chinese U at 7th and HKUST at 8th. The highest-ranked university in Guangdong was Shenzhen’s Southern University of Science and Technology, which came in at 26th.

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Shenzhen supports research projects

Shenzhen’s Municipal Science and Technology Innovation Commission is awarding a second round of funding for key technical research projects related to materials and energy, with individual grants of up to 10 million yuan. It is designed to encourage joint bids by companies and academic institutes.

As the official announcement puts it (machine translation): “This key project application aims to enhance the core competitiveness of Shenzhen’s high-tech industry, enhance the overall independent innovation capability of the industry, make breakthroughs in key components and other industry development common key technologies, focus on Shenzhen’s strategic emerging industries, promote the construction of ecological civilization and improve people’s livelihood, etc. The bottleneck key technology in the science and technology field will provide funding for key technology research in key areas, priority themes, and key special projects of Shenzhen’s high-tech industry.”

The application’s “lead unit” should be a national or Shenzhen high-tech enterprise that is legally registered in Shenzhen or the Shenzhen-Shantou Special Cooperation Zone; and it must have recorded an operating income of more than 20 million yuan in 2020. Domestic (including Hong Kong and Macao) universities, scientific research institutions and enterprises can participate in the project as cooperative units.

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Shenzhen boosts satellite firms

Shenzhen has sky-high ambitions for its commercial satellite industry, following the success of the “Shenzhen Star” project in 2020. According to official media, the city government has compiled a plan to encourage the integration of satellite research efforts with various other industries to create “unique application scenarios”. Special focus will be given to innovative applications that make use of satellites in transportation and logistics, marine economy, natural resources, urban safety, and environmental protection, among others. Grants of up to 30 million yuan will be awarded to promising candidates.

At the same time, significant funding will be given to companies engaged in the construction and operation of “civil space infrastructure,” with special focus on the creation of an autonomous global high-throughput broadband satellite communication system and regional remote sensing networks, with awards of up to 200 million yuan.

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Knowledge City: Sino-Singapore dream realized

In the northeast corner of Guangzhou, a vision of the city’s future has been rising for nearly a decade. Thanks to some major investments announced recently, and as the project nears the halfway mark of its original 20-year development plan, an opportune moment has arisen to review its progress. Local media have been gushing about its potential.

Continue reading Knowledge City: Sino-Singapore dream realized