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From Manufacturing to Innovation


China is moving from being the world’s largest manufacturing hub to an innovation powerhouse. According to a report by Boston Consulting Group, the Internet economy of China will account for 6.9 per cent of the country’s GDP in 2016.[1] Research by McKinsey suggests that the forecast economic growth of 5.5 to 6.5 per cent a year will require China to generate 2 to 3 per cent of annual GDP growth through innovation, which will contribute US$ 5 trillion a year to GDP by 2025.[2] In terms of research, on the other hand, China’s spending on R&D increased ten times from 2000 to 2013, from US$ 33 billion to US$ 336 billion, according to OECD.[3]

The move by the Chinese government to transform the country into an innovation nation has resulted in technology fairs where participants can showcase their inventions, most notable of which is the China High-Tech Fair (CHTF) held in Shenzhen annually. The most recent CHTF, held in November 2015, was attended by more than 128 delegates from 28 countries. Around 3,686 exhibitors brought at least 16,825 projects, and many of them made a global debut.[4]

There have also been innovation centres that have been set up not only in Shenzhen but also in Shanghai and other parts of China and the globe. Housing a unique combination a smart home experience centre and TV studio, accelerator, incubator and interactive training centre, these innovation centres are places where innovators can make their global debuts and introduce their innovative ideas to the general public and potential investors, helping innovator transform the ideas into marketable products.



[3] Ibid.,