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China's R&D spending rises, still lags behind developed nations

Xinhua | Updated: 2016-11-12 11:07

BEIJING - China's research and development (R&D) spending has consistently gone up despite its slowing economy as the country seeks to foster new growth engines by boosting innovation.

R&D spending reached 1.42 trillion yuan (about $208.38 billion) in 2015, up 8.9 percent over 2014, according to a report jointly published by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), the Ministry of Science and Technology and the Ministry of Finance.

Last year's R&D expenditure equaled 2.07 percent of the GDP, up from 2.02 percent in 2014 and marking the third straight year above the 2-percent mark.

Chinese companies were the largest contributor, according to the report. Enterprises, led by those in the manufacturing, computer and telecommunications sectors, spent 1.09 trillion yuan on R&D in 2015, up 8.2 percent from the previous year and accounting for 76.8 percent of the total.

R&D spending by government-affiliated research institutes expanded 10.9 percent to 213.65 billion yuan, taking up 15.1 percent of the total, while that by universities and colleges grew 11.2 percent to 99.86 billion yuan, or seven percent of the total.

Despite being the world's second-largest R&D spender behind the United States, China still lags behind developed countries which normally spend 3 percent of their GDP on R&D, according to NBS statistician Guan Xiaojing.

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