Beijing ETown Special

Beijing E-Town pulls out all the stops to attract top businesses

By HU YUYAN | |  Updated:2022-10-21

The Beijing Economic-Technological Development Area, also known as Beijing E-Town, has been ramping up efforts to foster strategically important industrial clusters that represent the latest in the science and technology world. The goal is to build itself into a hub of high-tech industries with international influence.

Beijing E-Town saw its gross industrial output value reach close to 600 billion yuan ($86 billion) in 2021, ranking first in the city.

High-tech industries, represented by new-generation information technology, high-end automobiles and intelligent manufacturing, contributed more than 90 percent of the gross industrial output value.

Enhanced research

At the opening ceremony of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games, an 8K ultrahigh-definition ground display system, the largest of its kind in the world, demonstrated the abilities of Chinese technology to viewers across the globe.

“The core technologies of the world’s largest display are in our hands,” said a representative of BOE Technology Group, China’s leading liquid crystal display panel maker based in Beijing E-Town.

In 2021, BOE’s LCD shipments for five major application scenarios, which were smartphones, tablets, laptops, monitors and televisions, all ranked first in the world.

“In the last 10 years, Beijing E-Town focused on critical strategic needs, accelerated research into key technologies and achieved major breakthroughs in cutting-edge technologies and industries of strategic importance,” said a Beijing E-Town official.

With a focus on developing industrial clusters and promoting digitalization and innovation among local companies, Beijing E-Town has set its sights on becoming a globally influential player in fields including intelligent manufacturing, innovative medicines and connected vehicles.

Two out of every three computed tomography scanning machines sold worldwide by GE Healthcare are produced at the company’s manufacturing base in Beijing E-Town. The dark factory of smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi based in the area is capable of assembling one smartphone every second.

Beijing E-Town had been a cradle of innovative products and technologies for the past 10 years. As of the end of 2021, high-tech companies in Beijing E-Town delivered 96.7 percent of the area’s total industrial output value.

Global resources

The gross industrial output value of Beijing E-Town grew from more than 200 billion yuan to almost 600 billion yuan in the space of 10 years. Between 2012-21, the compound annual growth rate of industrial output value reached 9.4 percent. This was significantly higher than that of the whole city recorded in the period.

In 2021, the number of national-level “little giants” based in Beijing E-Town ranked first among more than 200 national economic development zones in the country. To be called a “little giant”, a Chinese company must see a minimum 5 percent year-on-year average growth rate of its main business income or net profit in the past two years.

Intelligent manufacturing has become a “springboard” for companies in Beijing E-Town to move toward high-end manufacturing.

The number of representative intelligent manufacturing enterprises in the area accounts for one-third of the city’s total. One-third of the 285 national standards for intelligent manufacturing have originated in Beijing E-Town.

The China (Beijing) Pilot Free Trade Zone High-End Industries Area was established in Beijing E-Town. A high-quality free trade zone featuring supportive investment policies, convenient transport, smooth cross-border capital flow, friendly employment policies, and a safe and orderly flow of data is taking shape in Beijing E-Town.

The China (Beijing) Pilot Free Trade Zone is one of the “two zones” Beijing has been building since September 2020. The other one is the Integrated National Demonstration Zone for Opening Up the Service Sector.

“Since the establishment of the two zones, Beijing E-Town has given full play to the advantages of the policies related to the two zones’ construction, while making active efforts to integrate into the new development pattern,” said an official with Beijing E-Town.

“We have improved the policy framework for high-level opening-up and we have gotten deeply involved in the restructuring of the global industrial chain and supply chain, while continuously promoting international cooperation in production capacity,” the official noted.

Beijing E-Town is turning into a magnet for high-end resources from across the globe, with local industries moving toward the higher end of the global value chain.

Four new production lines of German pharmaceutical company Bayer in Beijing E-Town are under construction. When put into operation, the fully automatic high-speed production lines, coupled with fully automatic logistics systems, are set to increase production capacity by 40 percent and help build a world-class manufacturing factory.

During the past decade, an increasing number of multinationals have chosen to set up their latest and most advanced production lines in Beijing E-Town. To date, Beijing E-Town was home to some 140 projects backed by more than 90 Fortune Global 500 companies.

Reform of government services

Beijing E-Town is the first in the city to carry out the administrative reform that involves the entire administrative management chain ranging from approval to supervision and enforcement. The move has realized “one seal for examination and approval, and one team for law enforcement” and enabled further improvement in administration efficiency. The area took the lead citywide in carrying out reforms such as “one integrated license”. That helped to create a new one-stop administrative approval service model, which features streamlined procedures, lower costs and higher efficiency.

In July, the office for the development of the two zones and the government service center of Beijing E-Town launched a one-stop service for matters related to the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership.

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