It is little wonder Huawei chose Dongguan as the site of its biggest-ever developer conference, which is currently taking place at its new R&D-focused campus that looks like a mini-Europe. The city has released data showing that investment in “technological upgrading” shot up nearly 50% in the first half of the year.
Huawei alone may have had much to do with that. But there are also some other major tech manufacturers that are moving aggressively into the municipality or expanding (OPPO, Vivo), as well as e-commerce giants (JD.comin AI).
According to the official data, Dongguan registered industrial investment of RMB27.79 billion yuan in the first six months, up 23.5% YoY. Of this, “technological transformation investment” of RMB19.646 billion was up 48.6%, fastest among the GBA’s nine cities inside Guangdong.
Advanced manufacturing took the biggest share of this investment, up 27.8% YoY, with nearly all going into equipment manufacturing. To be clear, that is not investment in equipment; it is investment into the capacity to make advanced equipment. Investment in high-tech manufacturing increased by 22.4% year-on-year, with electronics and communications equipment manufacturing accounting for most of it (hello, Big Three).
All of this is before the city has really gotten going with 5G. That will happen in the second half of the year, according to the deputy mayor, quoted by local media. In his own words (our translation), Dongguan will: “Fully promote the development of 5G industry, layout 5G infrastructure with the fastest speed and highest efficiency, and vigorously support space and supporting facilities. The development of 5G will create an industrial chain in 5G application scenarios and value-added services.”
Although Dongguan is not a pilot city for 5G, like Shenzhen and Guangzhou, its two bigger neighbors, Dongguan has already decided to accelerate its development with “practical actions”. It will soon issue the “Dongguan City Acceleration 5G Industry Development Action Plan (2019-2022) to “promote the breakthrough development of the 5G industry”. Watch this space.