China / Society

Sina launches think tank platform

By Cheng Yingqi ( Updated: 2015-08-13 16:45

China's popular portal website has launched an online platform to build a bridge between think tanks and city governments that need advice.

The platform Sina Thinktank includes some leading think tanks at home and abroad as its member think tanks, such as the Academy of Macroeconomic Research of National Development and Reform Commission, China Center for Contemporary World Studies, Horizon Research Consultancy Group and the Business School of the National University of Singapore.

"The city is the driving force of China's development, which plays an internuncial role between the regions, the provinces, and the country and the communities, the families and the individuals,"said Wang Wei, general manager of Sina Thinktank.

"However, currently the outputs of most think tanks lack pertinence to solve practical problems in the development of cities. So we launch this platform to increase the efficiency for the communication between think tanks and city governments, with the ultimate goal of gathering top intellectual resources to serve the cities' development," she said.

Despite the fact that China has more than 400 think tanks, the regional disparities are huge. According to statistics of the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, in 2014, 56 percent of the country's think tanks were based in Beijing and Shanghai.

Out of all the 400, around 20 percent are more influential than others, 90 percent of them are in Beijing, 10 percent in Shanghai, while the other 600-plus cities do not have any influential think tanks.

On the other hand, think tanks are in urgent need of chances to interact with city governments with real problems to solve.

"China's think tanks seldom have the chance to interact with state-owned enterprises, policy makers or even the academic community. In most cases, the only way for think tanks to have influence on governments is to finish research assignments distributed by the higher authorities," said Huang Renwei, deputy director of the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences.

"In order to enhance the development of thinks tanks, there has to be a mechanism to gather the practical problems from the society, and channels to deliver think tanks' solutions to decision makers," he said.

The Sina Thinktank platform presents the latest research results and expert team of each member think tank of the website, and provides channels for government organs and enterprises to reach think tanks with the right resources to solve their problems.

"As one of China's largest Internet companies, it is a valuable exploration for Sina to utilize its brand and influence to build the think tank platform, which will surely make a great contribution in the renewal of China's think tanks," said Hou Weining, deputy director of the Development Research Center of the State Council.

The research center has been promoting information sharing and coordination of development and research centers at provincial and city levels, and debuted an online platform China Think Tanks in February.

"The Sina Thinktank has the same effect as our own platform China Think Tanks in terms of updating our think tanks in China. I believe our cooperation will be beneficial," Hou said. China Think Tanks is also a member of the newly launched website Sina Thinktank.

Hot Topics