BUSINESS New growth drivers gain steam amid China's innovation push

BUSINESS

New growth drivers gain steam amid China's innovation push

China Daily

15:02, September 29, 2022

BYD's electric models attract visitors at a new energy auto expo in Beijing. (Photo by A QING / FOR CHINA DAILY)

BEIJING - After constant efforts to push forward innovation-driven development, China has made visible progress in industrial upgrading, with new growth drivers emerging and new business forms flourishing, a recent report showed.

In 2021, the industrial output of major high-tech manufacturers made up 15.1 percent of the total value-added industrial output, 5.7 percentage points higher than that in 2012, according to a new report released by the National Bureau of Statistics.

The output of new energy vehicles last year was 28.2 times higher than that of 2014, while industrial robot output was 12.5 times higher than the 2014 figure, the report said.

China's services sector has an improving structure. In 2021, the added value of information transmission, software and information technology services accounted for 7.2 percent of the added value of the services sector, up 2.5 percentage points from 2012.

Innovation-driven efforts

What is behind these stellar figures is China's perseverance in promoting scientific and technological innovation.

In 2021, China invested 2.8 trillion yuan ($393.2 billion) in research and development (R&D), up by 1.7 times from 2012. The share of R&D expenditure in GDP stood at 2.44 percent, nearing the average level of Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development countries.

At the end of 2021, the country had a total of 330,000 high-tech enterprises and 4,762 "little giant" companies, representatives of China's small and medium-sized enterprises that specialize in niche markets and are endowed with cutting-edge technologies and great potential.

The number of authorized patents registered an average annual growth of 15.5 percent during the past 10 years.

The government has also pooled efforts to optimize mechanisms to smoothen the financing channels for technology firms. The country launched the sci-tech innovation board in 2019 and the Beijing Stock Exchange in 2021, tilting financing more in favor of innovation-powered firms.

Official data showed that 46 of the around 2,200 Chinese listed firms in emerging industries are valued at over 100 billion yuan each, up from zero 10 years ago.

Burgeoning new economy

Changes in the Chinese economy gained momentum after the country switched gear to new growth drivers.

Over the last decade, China has been promoting deep integration between the digital economy and the real economy. As a result, cashless transactions have become ubiquitous in daily life.

Online shopping has become a bright spot in China's consumer market, as the online retail sales of physical goods exceeded 10.8 trillion yuan in 2021, accounting for 24.5 percent of the total retail sales of consumer goods, said the report.

Driven by the record-setting sales volume of online retail, China's courier sector handled 108.3 billion parcels in 2021, surging by 18 times in the 2012-2021 period, reinforcing China's top status in the world in terms of express delivery volume.

The report also highlighted the booming digital economy. The added value of core industries in the digital economy accounted for 7.8 percent of GDP in 2020 and the size of China's digital economy ranked second globally.

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