A prototype of a mounted monorail train is tested at CRRC Qingdao Sifang. [Photo: People's Daily]
China is no longer a "sweatshop" economy, but is being transformed into an advanced manufacturing base.
The collective rise of Chinese brands such as Huawei, Xiaomi, Lenovo, Gree, Alibaba and Tencent has redefined the label of "made in China" as denoting innovation, reliability and quality.
Beijing Foreign Studies University organized foreign students from 20 countries along the Belt and Road routes to select the four most influential inventions of China today. The results were high-speed railways, Alipay, sharing bikes and e-commerce.
The list shows the dynamics of both State-owned enterprises and private companies, whose passion for innovation has been ignited by the government's policies for promoting innovation and new business startups.
The breakthroughs achieved by Chinese companies in some key technologies lays a solid foundation for industrial upgrading.
According to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, China now occupies a leading world positionin see-through display technology, lithium ion battery technology as well as superconducting materials.
MIIT Minister Miao Yu said: "China's manufacturing industries are exploring a broader way of development through technological innovation. That will bring about fundamental changes in many aspects."
In the past six months, CRRC, China's largest train carriage manufacturer, obtained 184-carriage orders from Boston and Los Angeles. This was a significant breakthrough as, previously, the train carriage market in the developed countries was mainly dominated by corporations in such advanced countries as Canada and Germany.
Neil Hawkins, chief sustainability officer of Dow Chemical, told People's Daily Overseas Edition that China's innovative spirit and ongoing commitment to innovation stood out in the world.
Innovation is an important driving force boosting the growth of the Chinese economy, and China's potential in research and development was amazing, he added.
Statistics show thatthe patent applications of Chinese residents last year accounted for 38 percent of the world total. The World Intellectual Property Organization and Cornell University listed China 22nd in their joint report on innovation this year, up from 25th in 2016. China is also the only middle-income country in the top 25.
In the first half of this year, its added value of advanced technology manufacturing, equipment manufacturing and strategic emerging industries increased 13.1 percent, 11.5 percent and 10.8 percent respectively year-on-year.
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