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South China's Silicon Valley to be built soon


Guangzhou in Guangdong province aims to provide preferential policies in areas of funding, human resources and land subsidies. [Photos provided to China Daily]

The Guangzhou-Shenzhen Science and Technology Innovation Corridor (innovation corridor) will grow into China's Silicon Valley and become a world-class high-tech industry innovation center, according to a plan released recently. 

"The innovation corridor is an attempt proposed by Guangdong province to provide support for the national strategy of innovation-driven development," said Wang Ruijun, head of the Department of Science and Technology of Guangdong Province, adding that Guangzhou and Shenzhen serve as two engines to drive the province's economic growth and scientific innovation.

Wang said that the corridor will bring a larger flow of resources and elements for innovation to cities involved, benefiting a broader region.

Located to the east of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, the innovation corridor, stretching more than 180 kilometers, covers an area of 11,836 square kilometers and includes the cities of Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Dongguan.

The three cities are home to over 78 percent of high-tech enterprises and 60 percent of advanced R&D institutions in the Pearl River Delta region. They also yield about six percent of the country's GDP, with GDP per capita in the region of more than $20,000, exceeding that of many high-income countries and regions in the world.

According to Zhan Decun, deputy director of Guangzhou scientific and technological innovation commission, Guangzhou has 169,000 scientific and technological innovation firms, including 4,739 high-tech ones. Among them, 2,820 were set up in 2016. The growth rate ranked the city on the top among all the sub-provincial cities in China.

About 2,000 high-tech companies will be launched this year, which will add the total number to 7,000, Zhan added.

A medical academic committee was established by a large group of domestic academicians, experts and scholars on Dec 1 of 2017, sponsored by the Guangzhou-based KingMed Diagnostics which is located in the innovation corridor. It aims to boost innovation in medical technology.

"KingMed has grown into China's largest third-party company dedicated to medical testing and boasts the widest service network, most internationally certifications and testing items in the country," said Liang Yaoming, the company chairman, adding that it holds more than 30 percent of the nation's market share.

Besides Guangzhou – the capital city of Guangdong province, Shenzhen and Dongguan also maintain robust growth.

Cao Hui, brand director of a Shenzhen-based high-tech firm said the company has a clear goal – to be the No 1 in human-computer interaction and biometric identification and build a world-class "chip".

In Dongguan, the expenditure on R&D accounted for 2.41 percent of the city's GDP last year, bringing it to the third place in the province. There are 2,028 national high-tech firms, doubling the number of 2015.

The plan also lists 10 core innovation platforms like Guangzhou Science City and Dongguan Songshan Lake High-tech Industrial Park. Enterprises in these 10 areas are expecting a better future.

Yu Qingsong, general manager of Haige Communications Group said his company will strive to become an innovative engine for new generation IT industry in Guangzhou and in the corridor.

Wang Yuhui, who owns an intelligent technology business in Dongguan Songshan Lake High-tech Industrial Park, said the company will tap market potential and increase output value to further be listed.

According to the plan, besides the two mentioned above, the 10 core innovation platforms include Guangzhou International Innovation City, Pazhou Internet Innovation Cluster, Sino-Singapore Guangzhou Knowledge City, Dongguan Marina Bay New Area, Shenzhen Airport New Town, Shenzhen Banxuegang Science City, Shenzhen High-tech Zone and Shenzhen International Bioindustry Valley.

The plan also lists 37 innovations centers, such as Guangzhou International Bio Island and Dongguan Neutron Science City.

"China's 'Silicon Valley' is not exactly the same as the one in the US though they share something in common in concepts," Wang Ruijun said.

The plan says that the administrative barriers will be removed and the innovation resources including talents technologies and capital will be mustered to boost the innovation-driven development and help develop the area into the core of the National Independent Innovation Demonstration Zone in the Pearl River Delta region. A globally influential innovation cluster will also be formed in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and across the county.

Guo Zhuangshi, deputy head of Guangdong Provincial Department of Housing and Urban-Rural Development, said the public facilities and services will be improved to attract more global talents to start their businesses and make innovative contributions in the corridor.

In the eyes of Wang Xinmin, chief technology officer of a Shenzhen-based company, the corridor will give full play to each city's advantages, as Shenzhen has a high level of market economy; Guangzhou is abundant with talents and technologies, Dongguan is home to production bases in Dongguan. It will greatly improve the production efficiency.

The three cities can share their resources and complementary advantages, since Guangzhou has numerous universities and research institutes; Shenzhen boasts high-tech enterprise clusters and Dongguan is home to a group of manufacturing companies.

Now, Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Dongguan are working hard to implement the plan and have put the plan into action on specific tasks. Guangzhou aims to serve as the power source for the corridor while Shenzhen has made a four-step approach for the goal of being a main engine by 2020.

Dongguan, lying between Guangzhou and Shenzhen, two first-tier cities in China, is marching to be a first-tier city in terms of innovation.

Dongguan mayor Liang Weidong said the city will focus on the development of advanced manufacturing.

The corridor is planned to be constructed in three steps with ultimate goal of being a first-class innovation center in the world by 2050.