Tag Archives: Innovation

Ping An boosts biotech incubator

Ping An-Dapeng International Bio-Valley, a joint venture between Ping An Urban Tech and the Dapeng district government, has recently teamed up with the Kotler Marketing Corp., a consulting firm based in Washington, DC, to cooperate on building the incubator base as well as raising a startup fund for biotech innovation. 

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Tianhe, Nansha lead Guangzhou’s growth

Guangzhou’s first-half performance this year was remarkable indeed, as the trillion-yuan economy was up 7.1%, nearly a percentage point above the national average. However, within the city were two astonishing growth stories, in the Nansha and Tianhe districts, which grew at a sizzling 9.4% each.

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Shenzhen’s robotics industry booms

Shenzhen is witnessing a new growth spurt in its robotics industry. According to a report by the city government, robotics enterprises registered in Shenzhen last year jumped 55% to 649, while their output rose 13.81% to RMB117.8 billion. 

The report encompassed robots manufactured for industrial use, service and other related AI fields. The majority of the output value last year came from industrial robots – RMB80.3 billion, up 6.25% – yet service robots saw the biggest jump, up 21.79% to RMB 34 billion. Driving this growth has been investment in artificial intelligence applications in the industry.

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Qianhai is China’s No. 1 Free Trade Zone

According to a new index ranking China’s Free Trade Zones, Shenzhen’s Qianhai is the country’s No. 1.

The Institutional innovation Index for China Pilot Free Trade Zones (2018-2019), released by Guangzhou’s Sun Yat-sen University, gave Qianhai a score of 86.26 points. It was followed by the Shanghai Pilot Free Trade Zone at No. 2, and Guangzhou’s Nansha at No. 3.

Qianhai scored No. 1 in “transformation of government functions,” “investment facilitation,” “trade facilitation” and “legal environment.” 

(If you need to understand the zones better, read our primer.)

Beijing taps Shenzhen, again

The ninth meeting of the Central Committee for Comprehensively Deepening Reform (CCCDR) was held on Wednesday. Established as part of the massive party-state restructuring launched in March 2018, Trivium China calls it “the most important policymaking body in the land.” That’s right, more important than even the Politburo Standing Committee.

The meeting has approved 11 documents, most of which you would need a Western-Chinese political dictionary to understand. The one that stood out for us was No. 10: “Supporting Shenzhen to become a pilot demonstration area for socialism with Chinese characteristics.”

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OPPO boosts spending on R&D

Smartphone giant OPPO says it will spend US$1.46 billion on research and development this year and is establishing a new R&D centre in Dongguan’s Chang’an Town. The new facility, along with the company’s existing R&D centre, will form a new research engine that powers OPPO’s continued innovation in the era of intelligent connectivity, according to a company statement. 

The new Chang’an R&D centre is expected to house 5,000 staff and will be responsible for the R&D, design and testing of a range of smart devices, including smartphones and IoT products. 

The news follows OPPO’s decision in February to build an intelligent manufacturing hub in Chang’an. It will focus on production and quality control of smart devices and peripheral products.

Dongguan youth base launched

The Songshan Lake Hong Kong and Macau Youth Innovation and Entrepreneurship Base is now open, with 40 start-up projects at its launch over the weekend. Only 15 of these are actually from the two SARs, the rest being local startups engaged with SAR partners, in projects such as smart wearable devices, smart cities, new energy, medical devices and e-education. 

The base is connected to other innovation and incubation centers in Songshan Lake, including the International Robotic Industrial Base, Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Cultural Innovation Industrial Park, Hi-Tech Entrepreneurship Base, and Hi-Tech Creative Space. 

Initiated by Professor Li Zexiang from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST), the robotics base was the first provincial-level incubation demonstration base in Dongguan. Launched in 2014, it is home to 57 enterprises and 33 start-up teams, including 10 enterprises with founders from Hong Kong. The robotic base has also cooperated with Dongguan University of Technology, Guangdong University of Technology and HKUST to build a Guangdong-Hong Kong Robot Academy which currently has 400 students. 

The Cultural Innovation Park was initiated in 2010. It is home to 5 projects including comics, sports and communications. 

The Hi-tech Entrepreneurship Base in Songshanhu is seeking cooperation with the world-class incubation platform FoundersSpace and plans to introduce projects like Natilus, SeeVider, and Taikwan Tech. 

The Hi-Tech Creative Space is being jointly operated by Hong Kong and Dongguan with the plan to cultivate unicorn companies in the sectors of AI application, smart robotics, AI education, and Synapse Auto robots. 

Read morein Chinese. 

Nansha rolls out red carpet for youth

Now that all cities in the Greater Bay are able to offer the same tax-equalization subsidies for talents from Hong Kong and Macau, what are they left to compete with? Guangzhou’s Nansha District, the special zone on its southernmost tip, has no fewer than 66 goodies in its bag for youth from the two SARs. These include subsidies for housing, which most, if not all, other GBA cities have. But they go significantly further, covering costs for transportation, communication, company setup, funding, and a whole lot more. 

The new policies are currently undergoing “consulting” and will be officially launched in August. 

The big push is focused on filling up Nansha’s “Innovation Valley”, which is its incubation and acceleration base for youths from the two SARs. The park can hold 200 start-up teams in its 20,000-sqm premises, and it is currently at 135. In addition to an “Entrepreneurship Academy”, the government provides legal, accounting, and tax consulting services, while local companies have thousands of internships open for graduates seeking to get their careers started. 

These internships will not be the end of the line, either: the government is currently planning to offer designated job opportunities in large enterprises offering a starting annual salary of RMB250,000. And for those who would prefer to do post-graduate study, Nansha will offer special programs in mainland universities. 

Read morein Chinese. 

GBA Briefs: 25/6/2019

Vienna, anyone? China Southern Airlines opened a new route on June 18 from Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport to Vienna, Austria, via Urumqi in Xinjiang. Read more. 

Smart Ports:A new 5G Smart Port Innovation Lab was launched in Shenzhen by China Merchants Group in collaboration with Huawei and China Mobile, with the aim of implementing 5G technology to create more efficient port operations. Read more.

Tianhe Leads 5G:Guangzhou’s Tianhe district will be the first to be covered with a comprehensive 5G network in the GBA, building more than 2500 5G base stations by the end of September. Read more.

Fees Cut:Fees for passport application and travel pass to Hong Kong and Macau are being cut. From July 1, passport fees will drop from RMB160 to RMB120, and for a travel pass to Hong Kong and Macau from RMB80 to RMB60. Read more.

Dongguan in China’s top 10

Dongguan has climbed into the Top 10 of China’s most competitive cities, as measured by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. The fastest-growing economy in the GBA joined Shenzhen (1st), Hong Kong (2nd), and Guangzhou (4th), on the list, ahead of leading cities like Wuxi, Foshan and Chengdu. Shanghai was 3rdand Beijing 5th.

Dongguan has been steadily climbing, from 14thin 2016 and 13thin 2017. 

Industrial upgrading explains the rise. High-end manufacturing and hi-tech manufacturing now account for 52.3% and 38.9%, respectively, of industrial output, which was RMB96.85 billion in Q1 this year, up 8.5% YoY. That was 2.3 percentage points faster than Q1 2018.

The city’s three leading companies – Huawei, OPPO and Vivo – saw their combined value added output rise 32% last year. 

R&D investment is an important factor in Dongguan’s ranking improvement as well, at 2.35% of overall GDP. Moreover, Dongguan’s “sustainable competitiveness” ranks No.7. 

In 2018, Dongguan added 2174 hi-tech enterprises, totaling 5790, equivalent to adding six a day. 

Read morein Chinese.