Tag Archives: R&D

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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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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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.

GBA firms look to accelerate tech upgrades

As covered in yesterday’s news, the Guangdong government is pushing new credit toward SMEs in different sectors. One way of doing this is to make cheaper loans available to companies in need of “technological upgrading”. Such companies would be following a well-worn path. As we reported recently in another news item, Guangdong companies have spent xdxx over the past xx year on upgrading. In fact it could be said that the story of the GBA is the story of a region that is constantly engaged in the never-ending process of technological upgrading. 

Nevertheless, sometimes it takes the China Daily to make crystal clear what the government’s priorities are. And so we read today that: “As the shadow of escalating Sino-US trade tensions looms over China, tech companies in the Greater Bay Area have been accelerating their upgrades to innovation and technology.” 

“Onshoring” is a game two can play, the state-run media group seems to be saying, pointing out that Hong Kong robotics startup, Roborn Dynamics, has shifted its market focus from the US to the mainland. 

It’s not just in production, but research as well. Hong Kong-based unicorn SenseTime has been “adhering to independent R&D in artificial intelligence”, it says.

Shang Hailong, the company’s managing director, encapsulates the prevailing sentiment in suggesting the region should: “ Further deepen the collaboration of enterprises, universities and research institutions to drive the innovation and technology companies forward and turn the crisis into opportunities.”

George Leung Siu-kay, an adviser of the HSBC’s Asia-Pacific business, said on an HSBC forum that the US-China trade dispute could speed up the development of the Bay Area, as China will focus more on domestic consumption to drive the country’s economy and the region could be a strong momentum for the economic growth.

We couldn’t agree more.

Read more. 

Tech boosts Guangdong GDP in Q1

Industries in the “new economy” contribute 25.1% of Guangdong’s GDP, according to the provincial government. Growing at 7% – which is in line with overall GDP growth – companies across the spectrum are ramping up R&D spending, too. This is underpinning future growth and is spreading to older industries as well: as of the end of March, 35% of Guangdong’s 40,000 industrial enterprises had established a science and technology R&D department. Overall investment in new technologies came in at RMB140.55 billion in the quarter, up 8.7% YoY.

Sales of 4K television sets are a bright spot, up 44.4% to RMB6.48 million. The star standout, however, was new energy vehicles (NEVs), which saw sales up 252%.

Probably the single brightest spot in this landscape is the Nanshan Science Park, in Shenzhen, where the total market cap of its constituents is over RMB4 trillion. This is where Tencent and Huawei are based. Last year, the park’s GDP hit RMB 501.8 billion, generated by more than 3,500 nationally accredited tech companies across a swathe of new industries such as AI, big data, quantum communication, and biotech.

Read more (in Chinese).

Guangzhou adjusts industrial land policy

Guangzhou has recently added a new category to the city’s definition of industrial land, which should boost development of new-economy industries. Urban land can now be more easily adapted for use in “industrial upgrade” investment. It specifically refers to usage for research and development, creative industries, pilot testing, pollution-free production and other “related industrial functionality and ancillary services”.

According to a report by Cushman & Wakefield, land acquisition costs for these types of projects will be relatively low and can create a new model for urban renewal. Zhang Tingting, a company executive, said that urban renewal policy has been evolving from simply a focus on improving the housing environment to building new communities that combine industries with township living.

Under the new classification, projects can allocate up to 30% of their total area for building commercial and residential facilities as well as public services. Previously, industrial land projects could allocate no more than 7% to complementing facilities. More importantly, 50% of the land can be transferred and sub-divided to attract individual investors or enterprises engaged in production, R&D, design and industrial services.

Market analysts forecast that competition for commercial properties in Guangzhou’s non-core areas will soon heat up.

Read more (in Chinese).

Gree to pump tax savings into R&D

Zhuhai-based Gree Electric Appliances, the world’s biggest maker of home air conditioners, plans to plough into research and development the RMB5.3 billion (US$790 million) it got to keep last year thanks to China’s tax cuts, reports Caixin Global.

The money saved will be spent on core technologies, according to Dong Mingzhu, chairwoman of the company.

China started replacing business tax with VAT in 2016. Last May, it cut the 17 percent and 11 percent VAT rates to 16 percent and 10 percent, respectively, and dropped them further for many sectors, including manufacturing, from 16 percent to 13 percent this April.

The government’s tax policy includes the deduction of R&D expenses and tax incentives for high-tech enterprises to help support innovation. In the past three years that saved Gree CNY5.8 billion, Dong said.

Guangdong research funding open to HK, MO institutions

Scientific research institutions from Hong Kong and Macau are now eligible for research funding granted by Guangdong and may use them in the SARs, according to a report in China Daily Hong Kong.

Previously, institutions from the two special administrative regions had to form joint ventures with other mainland institutions or set up branches in Guangdong.

Under the new three-year pilot scheme, which was unveiled this week, two institutions from Hong Kong and Macau will enjoy equal rights with their counterparts in Guangdong in competition for a total of RMB500 million (US$74.2 million) in funding and key sci-tech projects supported by the province.

The policy also encourages cooperation in key fields identified by the Greater Bay Area masterplan, such as artificial intelligence and robotics.

Read more here.