Zhongguancun in 30 years: China's leading innovation center

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Zhongguancun, a street once filled with vendors of small electronics and computer parts, is now a national hub of technological innovations and e-commerce. Over the past 30 years, the street has developed into Beijing's High-tech Industrial Development Pilot Zone and National Self-dependent Innovation Demonstration Area, becoming China's most dynamic innovation and entrepreneurship center.

As the pilot zone of China's reforms on technological development, Zhongguancun has made various significant breakthroughs in this field. It is home to China's first private tech firm, the first company without the limited scope of business, the first limited partnership investment organization and so on.

Zhongguancun also plays the leading role in developing and testing policies and measures to promote the application of technological advances and the incentives for skilled tech professionals. Pilot reforms, including foreign exchange regulations on overseas merger and acquisition, investment linkage, and 20 measures to attract overseas talents to the high-tech hub, have been implemented nationwide. 

With the support of these policies, a slew of core technologies have been developed in Zhongguancun, such as the laser phototypesetting of Chinese characters, Shuguang Supercomputer, AI chip, driverless vehicles, giving fresh impetus to the development of companies with a competitive edge.

Among these tech giants are Lenovo, Founder, Tsinghua Tongfang, Sohu, Sina and Baidu. Especially in recent years, JD, MI, Qihoo 360 and other high-tech startups also emerged at a fast speed.

At present, Zhongguancun is home to over 20,000 companies, including 13,000 high-tech firms and about 320 listed companies, becoming one of the largest destination of global venture capitals. 

In an effort to foster more high-tech startups, Zhongguncun has established over 200 incubators and 1,490 venture capital institutions. Last year, an average of 80 tech firms were set up in Zhongguancun per day.

In 2017, the revenue of companies in Zhongguancun totaled 5.3 trillion yuan (about US$835 billion), with combined profits reaching 467.08 billion yuan, contributing to 34 percent of the city's growth, according to official data.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of Zhongguancun's establishment. The area continues to pursue the goal of becoming a key link for the global innovation network, in a bid to gain more international influence. Today, there are over 300 headquarters and research centers of transnational corporations in Zhongguancun, attracting 10,000 foreign talents, 30,000 returned overseas students and 1,343 returned overseas experts under the prestigious "1,000 Talent Plan."

Zhai Lixin, director of the Administrative Committee of Zhongguancun Science Park, said Zhongguancun aims high to undertake the new tasks in the new era and drive China's innovation power to a new level.

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