Shenzhen – The Voice of Innovation In Mainland China

BY P Chong       8 November 2011

Shenzhen in the early 1990s  

Present Shenzhen
Shenzhen as it Now

Shenzhen was voted by Forbes China in 2010 as the most innovative city in mainland China. It virtually started from scratch.

Shenzhen in the 1970s was but a small village. Its metropolitan cityscape is the result of the vibrant economic growth made possible by rapid foreign investment since the institution of the policy of “reform and opening” establishment of the SEZ in the late 1970s. Both Chinese and foreign nationals have invested billions in the Shenzhen SEZ. More than US$30 billion in foreign investment has gone into both foreign-owned and joint ventures, at first mainly in manufacturing but more recently in the service industries as well. Shenzhen is now reputedly one of the fastest-growing cities in the world.

Being the southern mainland China’s major financial centre, Shenzhen is home to the Shenzhen Stock Exchange as well as the headquarters of numerous high-tech companies. Shenzhen is also the third-busiest container port in China, after Shanghai and Hong Kong.


Shenzhen continued to top the list of the most innovative cities on the Chinese mainland this year, followed by Suzhou and Shanghai.

Shenzhen continued to top the list of the most innovative cities on the Chinese mainland this year, followed by Suzhou and Shanghai, according to the latest list of the 25 Chinese mainland cities with the strongest innovation capabilities released Monday by Forbes China.

Forbes China’s survey covered 129 mainland cities:

  • with the municipal GDP of above RMB 43.6 billion yuan (US$6.84 billion) in 2010

  • also the number of patents newly applied for (per capita and total number)

  • the proportion of sci-tech expenses to local fiscal expenditures (including expenses on trial development of new products, intermediate experiment allocations and subsidies for important scientific research projects).

 In 2010, the value-added of Shenzhen’s high-tech industry rose 17.1 percent to RMB 305.9 billion yuan, while the total output value of high-tech products made in Shenzhen hit about RMB 1.02 trillion yuan, with 60.1 percent contributed by products with independent intellectual property rights.

The Yangtze River Delta region retained its predominant status this year, with 15 cities edging into the list. Jiangsu province alone has 11 cities included. Five cities from the Pearl River Delta moved up into the list, while no cities from Western China appeared there.

Statistics show that China’s smaller cities are amazingly eye-catching for their innovation capabilities with more than half cities on the list being county-level and prefecture-level cities. Of the top ten, there are 4 county-level cities: Wujiang, Kunshan, Changshu and Zhangjiagang.


World’s Longest Cross-Sea Bridge – The Pearl River Delta Bridge

By P Chong

24 February 2011

It’s absolutely mind boggling to even think of it! It’s been a dream for the last decade and that dream is now becoming a reality. China never does things in half measures. China has begun constructing a bridge to link southern Guangdong province, China‘s main manufacturing hub, with Hong Kong and Macao. When completed by 2016, officials say it will be the world’s “longest sea-crossing bridge” – spanning nearly 50km (30 miles). One branch of the bridge will reach Zhuhai in Guangdong province.

Pearl River Delta Bridge


The bridge will be a six-lane expressway that can withstand earthquakes up to 8.0 magnitude, strong typhoons and the impact of a 300,000 tonne vessel, said Zhu Yongling, one of the officials leading the project. (This is just the prelude to even greater projects to come in the wake of “Turn The Pearl River Delta Into One”. More details to follow after this article).

Thirty-five kilometres of it will be over water. Driving times between Zhuhai and Macau to Hong Kong will be cut from three hours to about 30 minutes. According to the China Daily, Guangdong has reached an agreement with Hong Kong and Macao on funding. “The bridge will cost 42.2 billion yuan ($5.9 billion). The project will be partly funded by the governments of the three neighbouring regions, and the rest will be raised through public bidding,” Governor Huang Huahua, who is also a deputy to the 11th NPC, told reporters on the sidelines of the annual session of the top legislature.

An artist’s impression of the completed bridge

Summary Facts:

  • About 30 km long.
  • Total investment of about 42.2 billion yuan ($5.9 billion), instead of 36 billion yuan previously estimated.
  • Toll charge for 50 years, investment to be recovered in 37 years.
  • Reduces travel time between Hong Kong-Zhuhai and Hong Kong-Macao from about six hours currently to less than an hour.
  • It will consequently help to reduce transport costs.
  • The three already enjoy close economic ties, but they must contend with a complicated network of ferries and zigzagging roads for transportation. This will be an excellent short-cut.

The project is expected to boost economic development in the region and improve the comprehensive competitiveness of the Pearl River Delta area, experts said.

Guangdong has been a key laboratory for experiments involving the country’s reform and opening up policy over the past 30 years. The southern province saw its gross domestic product rise 14.5 percent year-on-year in 2007, to 3 trillion yuan, accounting for about one-eighth of the country’s total. The plan to build the cross-sea bridge is just one of the moves Guangdong has made to strengthen its economic cooperation with Hong Kong and Macao.

Huang said the provincial authorities will invest in infrastructure in the Pearl River Delta, which has become a magnet for overseas investors, particularly from Hong Kong and Macao.

A complex rail transit network is also in the pipeline that will one day ensure that a journey between any two cities in the region takes less than one hour, Huang said.

The governor said he expects Shenzhen, which is the closest city to Hong Kong, to set an example for the whole province’s close relations with the special administrative region.

According to projections more than 200 million vehicles a year will be using the bridge by 2020, carrying 170-220 million tons of freight.

“Through a more convenient and fast transport network, Hong Kong’s financial, tourism, trade and logistics and professional services can become better integrated with the Pearl River Delta and the surrounding areas,” said Donald Tsang, Hong Kong’s Chief Executive, at a ceremony launching the project.

Indicative of the importance Beijing has attached to the project, the Chinese vice-premier Li Keqiang, the man widely tipped to succeed the prime minister Wen Jiabao in 2012, was on hand to inaugurate construction.

Make 2016 a date in your travel calendar to visit

this Special Economic Zone region to witness

the splendour & magnificence of

the economic wonder that China has in store for you!


Source: The Telegraph & Chinese Daily