An aerial view of western Zhongguancun in Beijing. [File photo/zgc.gov.cn]
Beijing’s Zhongguancun has unseated San Francisco’s Silicon Valley as the top technology hub in the world, according to a report by Expert Market, a US-based business resource company.
Beijing’s Zhongguancun tech community has became the top destination for the brightest tech talents around the world, due to its favorable climate for early stage funding, good performance in startup output and the city’s affordable cost of living, revealed the Top Tech cities in the World 2017 report.
About 10 data points were used to determine the rankings, such as the average salaries for software engineers, how long it takes to get a business up and running, cost of living and monthly rent prices, growth index and startup output, Forbes reported citing the methodology of the study.
Berlin ranked second, down from the top spot, which it held in 2016, and San Francisco, where Silicon Valley is located, took the third spot. Shanghai grabbed the sixth place as a new entrant to this year’s list, with high growth index, relatively low monthly rent and good startup experience.
The report shows how fast moving and internationally competitive the tech industry is and although Silicon Valley still excels in a number of key areas, international competitors have overtaken the original tech hub city, especially when it comes to attracting the brightest new tech talents, said Jared Kelher, editor of Export Market, as reported by Forbes.
Beijing’s massive market, fast consumer adoption rate, rapid business development timelines and appetite for innovation contributed to the city’s unique advantages and the government’s injection of US$1.5 billion in 2016 to renovate Zhongguancun, home to world’s leading tech companies such as Xiaomi, Google and Intel, also added scores for Beijing, according to tech news site Recode.
Chinese government’s efforts in tech innovation and achievements of Chinese companies such as Alibaba and Tencent form the reasons for China to top the list, according to Sophia Patsikas, lead researcher at Expert Market, as reported by Forbes.
In addition to China’s leading role in supercomputers and market influence in security products, messaging apps, ride-sharing services, electric cars and e-commerce, the rapid growth of China’s startups and growing global presence point to big potential for other Asian economies as well, Patsikas added.
Innovation is the primary driving force behind China’s development and it is the strategic underpinning for building a modernized economy, General Secretary Xi Jinping stated in the report at 19th CPC National Congress.
Zhongguancun Science Park’s administrative committee released an industrial incubation plan to improve its innovation ability in artificial intelligence (AI) industry early this month and it indicated that Zhongguancun is expected to form an AI super group that will encourage international competitiveness by 2020.