China is beefing up efforts to promote mass entrepreneurship and innovation, which is a new growth engine for its economic and social development.
An annual report released on Sept 18 by the National Development and Reform Commission showed that China saw an upsurge in mass entrepreneurship and innovation in 2016, as more than 5.5 million new companies were registered last year, growing 24.5 percent year-on-year.
Initiated by Premier Li Keqiang at the 2014 Summer Davos in Tianjin, the mass entrepreneurship and innovation program has become a craze sweeping the whole nation.
By the end of 2016, the country had nearly 26 million registered enterprises, up 18.8 percent over 2015. And 71 Chinese internet companies have a “unicorn valuation” of more than $1 billion.
The report noted that a growing number of college students and overseas returnees are now joining the army of entrepreneurs. In fact, 41.7 percent of the entrepreneurs are young people.
“Entrepreneurship and innovation will drive the dynamism of the regional development,” Li Guoping, head of the Beijing Development institute, Peking University, said on Sept 18 during the ongoing National Mass Entrepreneurship and Innovation Week in Beijing.
Last year, the government took a series of financing measures to invest heavily in startups. By the end of 2016, China had set up 901 government guide funds, which have attracted 1.1 trillion yuan ($167.5 million).
Wang Changlin, vice-president of the Academy of Macroeconomic Research, said the investor’s focus has shifted from internet startups to tech startups.