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Tycoons say innovation in China will buoy the world

By Ma Si in Hangzhou | China Daily | Updated: 2016-09-04 08:10

The impact of innovation in China on global economic growth will increase as Chinese enterprises step up efforts to develop cutting-edge technologies to create new business models and upgrade manufacturing capabilities, tech tycoons said on Saturday.

Yang Yuanqing, chairman and CEO of Lenovo Group, the world's largest personal computer maker, said, "The restructuring of the international division of labor offers Chinese enterprises an opportunity to be a leader in technological innovation. By building up brands with international influence, China will make a bigger contribution to the global economy."

He made the comments at the B20 Summit in Hangzhou, capital of Zhejiang province.

The summit is taking place against the background of slowing global economic recovery, with many countries seeing innovation as a major economic growth engine.

In 2015, science and technology accounted for 55.3 percent of China's economic growth. The figure is expected to rise to 60 percent by 2020, data from the State Council show.

By embracing internet and big data technology, Chinese factories will upgrade themselves so as to mass-produce tailor-made products in a short time. This will likely help bring high-end manufacturing to other countries as well, Yang said.

To spur growth globally, the B20 Summit proposed development of a multilateral long-term visa system, establishment of G20 funds to promote technological innovation and a G20 platform for sharing cutting-edge technologies.

"Chinese enterprises are known as rapid decision-makers, practical and with strategic views when it comes to innovation," said Hsiao-Wuen Hon, corporate vice-president of Microsoft Corp.

As pioneers of mobile payment technology, for instance, they are actively expanding their presence in overseas markets and extending the benefits of digital payment tools to foreign consumers, he said.

As of June, Alipay, China's most popular mobile payment tool, had about 450 million users.

Also, Chinese firms are making progress in emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, or AI, one of the most popular destinations for global investments.

Liu Qingfeng, chairman of iFLYTEK Co, a leading Chinese firm engaged in speech and voice recognition technologies, said AI will be the biggest driver of economic and social transformation over the next five to 10 years, and China is standing at the same starting line as other countries.

According to Liu, AI is still in its infancy, and global cooperation is needed to advance research and development of core technologies and to realize wider commercial applications.

"Now, about 160,000 developers are using our voice cloud platform, more than double last year's figure. The change illustrates the potential of AI in China and what we can do to help fuel its global development."

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