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Key science park aims at global role
By Fan Feifei/Gao Songya/Mu Sai ( China Daily )
Updated: 2016-09-06

Zhongguancun Science Park in Beijing aims to be a globally influential innovation hub by enhancing its international presence and influence.

Established in 1988, it is the first national innovation demonstration zone in China. With more than two decades of development, the park has expanded to cover an area of 488 square kilometers. The total revenue of high-tech enterprises in the park reached 4.08 trillion yuan ($612 billion) last year, a 13.2 percent increase year-on-year, and about 2.6 times the revenue in 2010, according to the administrative committee of the park.

Top-level talent has gathered in Zhongguancun. By the end of 2015, the park had attracted 1,091 leading personnel through the nation's "1,000 Talents" project, a national-level key initiative to attract global talent, accounting for 21 percent of the nation's total in the past couple of years.

It also boasts the world's second-highest number of the most valuable corporate tech startups.

The number of so-called unicorn companies-tech startups valued at more than $1 billion each-has reached 40, second only to Silicon Valley in the United States.

Of the 40 unicorns, three of them are valued at more than $10 billion, including smartphone maker Xiaomi Corp, group-buying player Meituan Dianping and Didi Kuaidi, China's largest mobile-based taxi-hailing platform.

Lin Renxiang, an analyst at iResearch Consulting Group, said that as the nation's internet center and tech hub, many internet giants are based here.

"It is home to China's top universities and research institutes, such as Peking University and Tsinghua University, which have cultivated a large number of technical personnel for these tech companies."

The park's international influence has been further enhanced by global interest in it. Intel Corp, Microsoft Corp and Siemens AG have established subsidiaries, R&D centers or incubators there. More than 200 companies among the Fortune Global 500 firms have set up branches.

The state-of-art enterprises there are speeding up their overseas expansion and carrying out overseas mergers and acquisitions.

For instance, there were a growing number of mergers and acquisitions in the park. Last year 492 were completed, up from 218 in 2014. The total value of the companies involved was 183.4 billion yuan, up 40.7 percent from the previous year. Among them, 37 were M&As involving overseas companies, 16 more than in 2014.

At present, 105 companies in the park are listed overseas, accounting for more than 30 percent of the nation's total number, said the administrative committee of the park.

A nearly 7,000-square-meter innovation center for the park was opened in Silicon Valley in the United States in May, which is regarded as a spearhead for Zhongguancun companies to find a foothold in the US and go global, according to the committee.