Zhongguancun Science Park : innovation & excellence in the center of Beijing

China’s Silicon Valley

China has known 30 years of unprecedented growth, thanks to a cheap manufacturing force, the will to become the workshop of the world and imported technology, China is changing its model.

Priority is given to innovation which implies economical experimentations such a the free trade zone that has just been launched in Shanghai.

This includes new locations to enable the Chinese high tech start ups to exist and there is suchg a place in Beijing, the Zhongguancun Science Park, ideally located in the west of Beijing close to the Chinese best universities.

There is a kind od deadline there : make of this place a world legendary place for innovation and technology by 2020, and this is well under way. There is now economical activity and things are not only about renting apartments in this city.

In this technological district are located companies that have designed the Chinese satellite navigation system and the terminals are still located there. This is as well a place of excellence for pharmaceutical research, with the companes that have found the cure again H1N1 flu, as well as many companies that are involved in the China space program, not to mention Chinese leaders in IT such as Baidu and Lenovo.

Together with the science park, several shopping malls have opened in Zhongguancun wit hundreds of shopping palces inside where you can find any tech device, computed, pads and so on… Still, this has nothing to do with the « ream » Zhongguancun Science Park and its top notch companies.

There is a lot of production going on in Zhongguancun, 70% of the industrail surface in Beijing city is just located there, 480 square kilometers, 2.300 companies, more than 300 of those have a turnover of more than 1 billion yuan in 2012.

Companies there have a large opening to the world, many projects benefut from foreign investment and there is many foreign-Chinese copperations going on. Among those, there is companies such as Intel and Merck Cerono, one of the leading pharmaceutical firm.

According to the administative authority that control the Zhongguancun Science Park, there is ore than 3.000 companies registered there everywhere with a specific phenomenon : more than 600 of there companies are founbded by Chinese people coming back from studies abroad. This is a typical case of students that prefer to create their own company instead of entering the Chinese large companies world. This is a source of change in China, with new mentalities and acording to officials, every two days two new start ups are being created by overseas Chienses students going back to Zhongguancun.

These students have accelerated this area’s opening to the world so that one third of Chinse-overseas tecnhlogical joint ventures in China are located in Zhongguancun.

This place is beginning to look really impressive, even for people comin from the most prestigious places abroad. Steve Blank, professor and entrereneur in California made a visit for the MIT Technology Review, and he was more than impressed. According to him, Chinese people have built in 5 years what people in Silicon Valley did in 30 years. There is now an ecosystem of integrated technological companies that can really compare itself with the original Silicon Valley.

And this is turning China into an innovative country. Companies in Zhongguancun have registered 1.700 internatioal patents, 300 of them have opened branches abroad in more than 50 countries and this is a trend favored by Chinese authorities. Zhongguancun Science Park has parterships abroad with places such as Sophia Antipolis in France or Center for innovation in Ottawa, places that share the same objectives.

This is definitely one of the place where the future of China is being designed, at a time its model might be changing.

 See also:

China Daily

Wikipedia

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