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Xiong'an major draw among tech startups

By ZHANG YU in Shijiazhuang | China Daily | Updated: 2024-02-01 09:15
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An aerial view of Zhongguancun Science Park in the Xiong'an New Area, Hebei province.  ZHAI YUJIA/CHINA NEWS SERVICE

As the Chinese Lunar New Year draws near, Zhang Junqi and his team gather for a party to celebrate their accomplishments in 2023 and look ahead to the coming year.

"Last year, we achieved a lot, including the development of three large language models and two AI products for our customers. Our goal for 2024 is to realize more breakthroughs," Zhang, 28, a graduate from the Department of Computer Science and Technology of Tsinghua University, said in a recent WeChat moments post.

One of the breakthroughs he is hoping for is his company's success in the Xiong'an New Area, Hebei province, in the new year.

Recently, he and two fellow Tsinghua graduates founded a high-tech startup in the new economic zone near Beijing, hoping to expand his business scope.

Xiong'an New Area AtomEcho Intelligent Technology Co just settled down in the area's Zhongguancun Science Park. It focuses on providing data intelligence governance services to clients through artificial intelligence and big data.

"In other words, we will develop specialized trained models and other AI products for internal use of different enterprises," he said.

Zhang, who earned his bachelor's degree in 2017 and completed his doctoral studies in 2022, founded Beijing AtomEcho Intelligent Technology Co with his partners after getting their diplomas.

The decision to establish a branch in Xiong'an was initiated after he participated in a tour of the new area in October in a promotional campaign entitled "Thousands of Enterprises to Xiong'an".

During the visit, he witnessed the rapid development of Xiong'an and its favorable entrepreneurial and innovative environment.

"I believe that technology-based enterprises like ours have great development prospects in the innovation hub. What's more, the supporting facilities, such as the apartments built for arriving talent, are very thoughtful and attractive to young people," Zhang said.

He said the furniture, appliances and daily necessities are fully equipped, making it convenient for employees to call the area home.

For Zhang, support services in the area's Zhongguancun Science Park are also attractive.

"We can enjoy policy benefits for the first three years, saving tens of thousands of yuan annually in rent alone," Zhang said. Their office space is approximately 400 square meters.

"The park also provides diverse services to help us recruit employees and expand our business, which is very attractive," he added.

Zhongguancun Science Park in Xiong'an was unveiled in August. Its first phase, located in the Huawangcheng complex of Rongdong area in Xiong'an, covers a total area of 21,000 sq m.

It was jointly set up by the area's reform and development bureau, China Xiong'an Group and Beijing-based Zhongguancun Development Group, aiming to become an innovation mecca for enterprises in Xiong'an.

Currently, businesspersons like angel investors and intellectual property consulting representatives, and providers of equity financing and tech services have settled in the park, according to Zhongguancun Science Park.

In addition, the area's public services bureau, banks and a service institution for industrial enterprises have also set up a presence there.

With more services accumulating, 35 enterprises — most of which are tech firms from Beijing — have settled down in the park after four months.

And the first phase of the park has already achieved a 90 percent occupancy rate, with 18 companies completing their office decor and moving in.

It is expected that the settlement rate of the second phase of the park in the first half of 2024 will also perform well.

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