Profile: A lawmaker's call to support private businesses amid epidemic

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, May 28, 2020
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by Xinhua writer Zhou Qianxian

BEIJING, May 27 (Xinhua) -- Wearing a face mask, Lei Jun, founder and CEO of China's tech giant Xiaomi, stepped into the Great Hall of the People in Beijing after disinfecting his hands.

As a national lawmaker, his proposal for this year's session of the National People's Congress (NPC), China's national legislature, focuses on better financing small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Serving his second term as an NPC deputy, Lei listened carefully to the government work report delivered by Premier Li Keqiang and applauded when hearing "all tax and fee reduction policies must be fully implemented for our businesses, so that they can sustain themselves and ensure success for the future."

"These words give us private entrepreneurs assurance, and I am very optimistic about the future of the private sector despite prolonged changes to the external environment," said Lei.

Noting a wide range of firms face challenges amid COVID-19, Lei conducted detailed researches and proposed the strengthening of fintech and big data applications to reduce service costs and developing angel investment, venture capital, equity financing, supply chain finance and other financing methods, so as to form a sufficient and diversified fund supply system for private firms.

SMEs are irreplaceable parts of China's economy, accounting for more than 50 percent of tax revenue, 60 percent of GDP, 70 percent of technological innovation and 80 percent of jobs.

Lei was among nearly 3,000 NPC deputies pooling their wisdom into China's economic and social development at the annual sessions of the national legislature and political advisory body, known as the "two sessions."

A wide range of topics including public health, poverty alleviation, employment and private sector are covered by proposals from NPC deputies and are expected to be later turned into government policies or initiatives.

Over the past six years, Lei has delivered 18 proposals at the "two sessions," most of which centered on private companies and innovation-driven development.

This year's government work report highlighted the importance of new infrastructure construction, saying China will develop next-generation information networks, expand 5G applications and build more charging facilities to promote the wider use of new energy vehicles.

Amid the COVID-19 epidemic, new services backed by 5G technology and internet of things were catalyzed, said Lei, urging efforts to foster new opportunities amid challenges and make new advances amid changes.

"Looking ahead, we will continue to strengthen our research and development (R&D) to capture the great opportunities brought by 5G markets," said Lei, adding that the company's R&D spending will be increased to over 10 billion yuan (about 1.39 billion U.S. dollars) in 2020, up from about 7 billion yuan in 2019.

Lei was born in rural Hubei Province in central China in 1969, and tech gadgets were a luxury for him. Yet today, Lei's office in the company's Beijing-based headquarters is stacked with smartphones, high-definition televisions, video conferencing systems and air purifiers produced by the firm he founded in 2010.

Together with the overall expansion of China's private sector and progress of technological strength, the company has grown into a leading provider of smartphones and other smart products in 10 years.

"We hope we can continue to provide exciting and affordable products to the world so that more people can enjoy the wonderful life brought by technologies," he said.

As a private entrepreneur, Lei is a witness of the tech sector's rapid development in China. "We, the private entrepreneurs, have grown with China's reform and opening up and will keep striving."

He called on private entrepreneurs to undertake more historic missions and commit to building first-class enterprises with global competitiveness. Enditem

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