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Private Sci-tech Firms Play Larger Role in China
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Privately-owned science and technology companies are playing a larger role in China's technological innovation drive with heavy input in research and development, an official said Saturday.

In 2005, China's 140,000 private sci-tech companies spent 123 billion yuan (US$15.4 billion) in research and development, at least 2 percent of their gross income, said Shang Yong, vice minister of science and technology.

These companies reported a combined gross income of 6,100 billion yuan (US$762.5 billion) and a total asset of 6,000 billion yuan (US$750 billion) last year, Shang told a forum on "the sound development of the non-public sector" in Nanjing, capital of the eastern Jiangsu Province.

Together they employed 12 million people, at least 30 percent of whom were senior professionals, he added.

Of all the sci-tech companies stationed in China's 53 national level high-tech parks, Shang said more than 90 percent were privately owned.

High-tech parks are government-sponsored areas that encourage investment from technology-intensive industries and businesses, often with preferential policies including tax reduction.

Many of these parks are represented by emerging small and medium-sized companies, which own 65 percent of China's high-tech patents and 80 percent of the new products, according to the ministry of science and technology.

(Xinhua News Agency November 18, 2006)

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