New economy upgrades Beijing's economic transition

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Since the beginning of 2018, Beijing's development in new industries, retail formats and business models has been steady, and innovation has played a more significant role in improving the city's industrial structure, according to data published by the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Statistics recently.

The new economy has achieved an added value of 470.72 billion yuan (US$68.69 billion) in the first half of this year, accounting for one third of Beijing's GDP. It shows a year-on-year increase of 15.2 percent, higher than the current GDP growth rate, according to the bureau.

Rapid growth of new industries

In the first six months of the year, strategic new industries have achieved an added value of 232.32 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 17.1 percent, while high-tech industries – overlapping with the strategic new industries – have contributed an added value of 336.14 billion yuan, an increase of 15.1 percent and accounting for 23.9 percent of Beijing's GDP.

According to data from the manufacturing industry, in the first six months, the increase in added value in high-tech manufacturing is 17.1 percent, 8.8 percentage points higher than that of all manufacturing industries above the designated scale. As data from the service industry shows, the revenue of high-tech legal entities above the designated scale has increased by 16.5 percent, a year-on-year increase of 7.4 percentage points.

Booming online retail

New retail formats and models have become prominent in Beijing in the first half of this year. With the integration of online and offline services, online retail is developing rapidly. In the first six months, Beijing's online retail sales reached 113.73 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 22 percent, propelling an increase of 4 percentage points in the city's retail sales of consumer goods. Online sales also accounted for 21.1 percent of Beijing's total retail sales, which is 3.7 percentage points higher than the national average.

The changes in Beijing citizens' dining preferences and the development of e-commerce take-out platforms have brought new business opportunities to the catering industry. In the first six months, the catering revenue of hotels and restaurants above the designated scale through e-commerce platforms has reached 5.45 billion yuan, increasing by 36.5 percent, and accounting for 10.2 percent of the total catering revenue of the city. This accounted for 54 percent of the growth of Beijing's catering revenue.

Innovation-driven development

Zhongguancun continues to play a leading role in Beijing's innovation. Data shows that the R&D expenditure of enterprises above the designated scale in Zhongguancun has increased by 21.6 percent in the first six months, an increase of 6.4 percentage points. Technology-related revenue has increased by 37 percent, 22.1 percentage points higher than the overall revenue growth rate.

There is also a rapid increase of R&D investment in emerging sectors including auto-driving, new energy vehicles, big data, artificial intelligence and 5G network. From January to May, the internal expenditure on research and experiment in large- and medium-sized key enterprises increased by 14.2 percent, 9.1 percentage points higher than the previous year.

Driven by the new economy, Beijing has maintained its high-quality development and steady upgrade of the industrial structure. The proportions of added value from strategic new industries and high-tech industries in the total added values of all industries above the designated scale have respectively increased by 0.9 percentage points and 1.5 percentage points. In the service industry, information services and technology services have continued to grow faster than the overall service industry. Beijing's green development also achieved remarkable results as more types of clean energy are being used in industrial energy consumption.

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