BEIJING – Big cities in China — even medium-sized cities in China’s flyover regions — are all hot to trot promoting high-tech science parks. They all think they’ve built the next “Silicon Valley in China.”
But the mother of all Chinese science parks is still in Beijing. The trend started here.
The Zhongguancun Science & Technology Zone in Beijing is a genuine high-tech cluster, developed as China’s first national model park.
Components are: academic institutions; national key labs; incubators, start-ups; software companies; R&D centers and business headquarters of big corporations (both Chinese and international). The Zhongguancun Science and Technology Zone has proven its reputation as the engine for technological growth in Beijing.
Notable companies located in Zhongguancun include Lenovo, Google, Intel, AMD, Oracle, Motorola, Sony and Ericsson. Microsoft built its Chinese research headquarters in the park in 2011.
Loongson, which is China's first general-purpose microprocessor design, was born here, and its development center is in the Zhongguancun area.
Close proximity to central government, institutes such as the Chinese Academy of Sciences and China’s premier universities such as Pekin and Tsinghua Universities, and the aggregated intellectual energy in the district, have established Zhongguancun as, by far, China’s most prestigious science park.
Tsinghua University Science Park (Tuspark) is also in Zhongguancun of Beijing. It houses Google Beijing, Toyota, NEC and a number of startups including Nusoft, a fabless chip company focused on applications processors.
Total revenue of the high-tech industry in the district in 2011 was 877 billion RMB, according to Sun Wenkai, dupty secretary of the Haidian district party committee and acting district mayor of the people’s government of Haidian district, Beijing.
Why go global?
But perhaps, the key that most distinguishes Zhongguncun is it’s the advanced thinking of the administrative committee of Zhongguancun Haidian Science Park.
There is no better example than its annual conference, the Zhongguancun Forum, which this year attracted more than 2,000 attendees. The science park’s committee has set its sights on going global, envisioning an international technology transfer center.