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China’s Ramping Up Tech Innovation

China continues to improve its technological innovations to establish itself as one of the leading nations in technology. China also aims to promote the popularisation of science among the public through several small experiments.

China’s national science and technology week is one of the ways to catch sight of the country’s technological innovations. It offers visitors a glimpse into the country’s glorious history of independent sci-tech development, as well as the remarkable changes it has brought to people’s lives.

The virtual reality (VR) glasses can give visitors a lifelike experience of extreme weather conditions such as typhoons and rainstorms. A quantum computer prototype “Jiuzhang” and an unmanned submersible “Haidou-1” capable of diving 10,000 meters in the Mariana Trench were also displayed for the public. Visitors can also know the working mechanism of the maglev scientific system by operating the fast-moving magnet suspended above the track.

According to the China Association for Science and Technology (CAST), China endeavoured to boost sci-tech development and has met the target of enhancing the science literacy of its citizens. The proportion of scientifically literate Chinese citizens has increased to 10.56% in 2020, up by 4.36% points from 2015.

Another effort from China to improve its technological innovation is to display several advanced technologies at a global Artificial Intelligence Expo, as reported by OpenGov Asia. The technologies include natural language processing, computer vision, speech recognition and machine learning related to the artificial intelligence (AI) sector. A range of tech was on display, including AI hardware, AI core technologies, AI technology applications, 5G+AI intelligent products and AI innovations and achievements.

Shenzhen Artificial Intelligence Industry Association (SAIIA) released and compiled the White Book on the Development of Artificial Intelligence in 2021 and a research report on the nation’s growth enterprises in the AI sector. Also on display was the latest academic research achievements in the field of AI through in-depth research on the system, industry, technology and application of AI. The white book discusses the challenges in developing AI and predicts the future trends of AI development.

The research report features interviews with experts, scholars and enterprise executives in the AI field, as well as discussions on the latest progress, achievements and development trends of the industry. According to the white book, the number of AI enterprises in China ranks second in the world. By the end of 2020, there were 6,425 AI-related companies in China, with a year-on-year growth of 25.37%.

Shenzhen gathered 1,318 AI-related enterprises, as of the end of 2020, with an increase of 25.2% year on year and is the second-highest ranked in the country. Beijing and Shanghai took first and third place, respectively.

China will focus on investing in technologies that have already been highlighted for further exploration: artificial intelligence, quantum information, integrated circuits, life and health science, neuroscience, genetics, deep earth and sea exploration, and aerospace technology. There also will be measures to encourage traditional sectors to move up the value chain; strengthening improved farming quality and competitiveness; as well as a greater emphasis on protecting intellectual property rights and talent attraction.

Technology and innovation have become the driving forces. As an emerging tech giant, China has demonstrated it can be a leading innovator both globally and domestically. China is leading the development of new industries built around digitalisation, artificial intelligence, big data, fifth-generation telecommunications networking (5G), nanotechnology, biotechnology, robotics, and quantum computing.

Science and technology development should keep up with leading global trends, it was felt. It needs to serve as the main engine of economic competition, the needs of the country, and benefit people’s health and livelihoods. These goals will be realised through the in-depth implementation of the strategies of rejuvenating the nation through science and education, cultivating talent, and promoting innovation-driven development. This will enable China to improve its innovation capabilities and speed up its transformation into a scientific and technological power.

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