China’s Hefei builds world-leading high-tech zone

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Robotic arms are manufacturing dish-washing machines in an intelligent factory of American home appliance maker Whirlpool in Hefei, east China's Anhui province, Nov. 12, 2021. (Photo by Xu Qingyong/People's Daily Online)
Robotic arms are manufacturing dish-washing machines in an intelligent factory of American home appliance maker Whirlpool in Hefei, east China's Anhui province, Nov. 12, 2021. (Photo by Xu Qingyong/People's Daily Online)

By Xu Jing

The Hefei National High-tech Industry Development Zone (Hefei high-tech zone) in east China’s Anhui province has explored a path of indigenous development featuring integrated scientific, technological, innovative and industrial progress.

It has generated a series of major innovative outcomes, such as a prototype of superconducting quantum computing, millimeter wave chips, the Micius satellite, proton knives, new steel materials for spacecraft, and atomic force microscopes.

On average, the Hefei high-tech zone sees the establishment of a company fueled by the commercialization of sci-tech outcomes on a daily basis and every week there are tech firms unveiling new innovations.

At the end of 2021, Geovis, a leading enterprise in the Chinese digital earth industry, reached an agreement with the Hefei high-tech zone to set up its global headquarters in Hefei. In just a few months, Geovis has registered four companies in the Hefei high-tech zone, which constitute an important part of the aerospace information industry in the high-tech zone.

Shao Zongyou, vice chairman and president of Geovis said that when the two sides were still in the negotiation stage, the Hefei high-tech zone has already shown that it attaches high importance to the development of the aerospace information industry and that it provides enterprises with resources matchmaking opportunities and other policy support.

To better grasp opportunities, the Hefei high-tech zone established a professional investment team that’s visionary and familiar with industrial development and technologies.
At present, the Hefei high-tech zone is home to 53 enterprises and institutions engaged in the aerospace information industry, which employ nearly 5,000 people.

Over the past year, the high-tech zone signed and implemented 17 projects related to the aerospace information industry, with total investment of 16.7 billion yuan ($2.34 billion). Besides, a batch of other quality projects are currently under negotiation.

Aligning the chains of innovation and industry is a guiding principle for the Hefei high-tech zone to advance industrial innovation.

The Yunfei Road in the high-tech zone, which is nicknamed the “Quantum Avenue,” is home to some 20 quantum technology companies. It is a renowned “landmark” in the quantum technology industry.
In the “Speech Valley of China,” China’s first national-level industrial base in the artificial intelligence sector located in the Hefei high-tech zone, had attracted over 1,400 enterprises as of the end of 2021.

Wang Qiang, chairman of the Hefei Gaoxin Development and Investment Group Company, noted that multiple 10-billion-yuan and 100-billion yuan industrial clusters are taking shape in the Hefei high-tech zone thanks to the efforts made by the high-tech zone to develop the digital and green economy, as well as the healthcare and service sectors.

The Hefei high-tech zone has held a number of road shows, investment salons and investment summits to build matchmaking platforms for investors and projects.

For instance, the Hefei Gaoxin Development and Investment Group Company has launched a high-level exchange platform to assist enterprises to make innovations and promote in-depth integration between technology and finance.

Four sessions of the high-level exchange platform have been hosted since 2018, joined by over 150 companies in integrated circuit, big health, AI and intelligent manufacturing sectors, and 120 investment and financing institutions. The platform speeds up the commercialization of technologies and assists high-quality development of the regional economy.

An official from the Hefei high-tech zone said that the high-tech zone will unveil a master plan to introduce and foster a number of world-leading enterprises, according to which the numbers of high-tech firms and listed companies in the high-tech zone are expected to exceed 5,000 and 60, respectively.

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