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Capital’s key tech strategic engine

Song Mengxing
Updated: Aug 28,2017 7:35 AM     China Daily

Beijing aims to strengthen the software sector as a key pillar of the city’s industry, according to local officials, as it leads the capital’s system of advanced industries.

Last year, the software and information service sector’s operating revenue reached 728.76 billion yuan ($109.23 billion), a year-on-year rise of 10.2 percent. The operating revenue of each company on average was 260 million yuan in 2016, a year-on-year increase of 13.6 percent.

During the 13th Five-Year Plan period (2016-20), Beijing made the sector a strategic engine for the digitization and informatization of its economic and social development. The city will focus on quality improvements and increasing efficiency in the industry, in striving to become an internationally influential software innovation city.

Beijing abounds in software products and technological innovation. Software copyright registrations in the city reached 82,490 in 2016, up 27.8 percent year-on-year and accounting for 20.2 percent of the national total.

Patent applications in Beijing’s software and information services sector amounted to 17,499 in 2016, up 30 percent compared to the previous year. By 2016, the sector’s valid invention patents had reached 17,784.

The city is home to many leading and up-and-coming companies in the sector. Ten Beijing companies were included in the 2016 Deloitte Technology Fast 50 China report, nine of which were from the software and information services industry.

There are eight national-level enterprise technology centers in the sector in Beijing and 159 city-level centers. Companies’ internal expenditure for scientific research totaled 68.65 billion yuan last year, a year-on-year increase of 29.2 percent.

Nationwide equity investment in Beijing’s software sector amounted to 80.23 billion yuan last year, up 56 percent compared to 2015. About 54 percent of that investment went to regions outside Beijing.

Beijing’s software sector also promotes collaborative innovation in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region and assists in wider national innovation efforts, local officials in Beijing said.

Software and information service enterprises in Beijing have expedited their expansion in nearby Tianjin and Hebei province, since the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei collaborative development became a national strategy in 2014.

From 2014 to 2016, 470 such companies from Beijing set up 1,120 branch organizations in Tianjin and Hebei. The organizations are mainly based in the Binhai New Area in Tianjin and cities in Hebei such as Shijiazhuang and Qinhuangdao.

Collaboration related to software among Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei has expanded in recent years and achievements can especially be seen in cloud computing, big data and the Beidou Navigation Satellite System, insiders said.

Beijing and Hebei are cooperating in building a cloud-computing center in Zhangbei county in Hebei. The center plans to have 1.5 million servers in its data center and house at least 200 enterprises by the end of 2020.

The Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei big data comprehensive experimental zone began construction on Dec 22, 2016.