China’s 169 state-level hi-tech parks generated nearly 13.6 trillion yuan ($198 billion) in GDP in 2020 – an increase of around 11.5% year-on-year – which helped more than 13% of the country’s total gross domestic product, according to a report unveiled at the ongoing 15th Pujiang Innovation Forum.

The report, assessing the innovation capacity of national high-tech parks, was compiled by the Torch High-tech Industry Development Center of the Ministry of Science and Technology and the Institute of Science and Development of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

China's high-tech zones account for 13% of GDP: report

China’s national high-tech parks show stronger innovation capability year on year, with their innovation index rising 27.2 points to 371.2 points in 2020, the report found. To be specific, they have shown outstanding performance in attracting investment and talent.

In 2020, the industrial investment fund in 169 state-level high-tech parks reached more than 2.3 trillion yuan, up 34.4% from 2019, with venture capital investment showing a year-on-year increase of 85.3% to around 188 billion yuan, a scale almost equivalent to that of Silicon Valley in California, USA.

China's high-tech zones account for 13% of GDP: report

Furthermore, despite the outbreaks of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has not been a massive brain drain. Instead, foreign students and expatriates made up nearly 1.18% of all staff, up 0.06% year-on-year.

This demonstrates the strong resilience of the national innovation industry in the face of COVID-19. In fact, the pandemic has caused some of the emerging industries, such as biomedicine, artificial intelligence and new materials, to flourish, according to the report.