Zhongguancun, New Rising 'Culture Mecca'

Newsweek has by its latest issue cited eight large "new culture Meccas" from around the world. In the place of New York, Paris, London and other metropolitans, the eight new "culture Meccas" are known for having a most vigorous construction growth and a flourishing culture developed. Of these "Meccas" no less known is Beijing and its Zhongguancun under fast construction.

Zhongguancun is by its most frenetic IT revolution experiencing the speediest growth as home to China's IT industry and education of higher learning in Beijing. By its cheap educated labor it has attracted over 4,000 enterprises from around the world to set up shops here. They include such giants IBM, Nokia and Motorola along with successful Legend and Founder of Beijing University as two enterprise giants in China. According to official statistics, foreign enterprises moved in last year at a rate of an enterprise per day.

Zhongguancun had its development begun with the reform and opening up drive being carried out by the 1980s when experiments with a market economy started. Students and professors by relying on their expertise set up small-sized technological companies in cheap dorms and empty classrooms to attract enterprises to join in and sell them various types of office supplies and computer components.

By now Zhongguancun has been approved as a special development zone enjoying preferential treatment as tax breaks, reduced rents and speedy operating permits to new businesses. In the meantime, it has been helped with widened roads and various new construction and reconstruction projects. Though some young entrepreneurs are under pressure from a shortage of funds yet most of them still hold dear to the belief that they would stay in the place to fulfill their targeted dreams.

( People's Daily August 30, 2002)

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