Country for PR: China
Contributor: Xinhua News Agency
Friday, April 07 2017 - 18:38
AsiaNet
Innovative Hangzhou Ranks Top Developed City in China
HANGZHOU, China, Apr. 7, 2017 /Xinhua-AsiaNet/--

Hangzhou, a city in east China which successfully hosted the G20 summit in 
September 2016, was called a historical and cultural city full of innovation 
vigor. The city upheld its reputation in 2016 by achieving an economic output 
of 1.1 trillion yuan (160 billion U.S. dollars) in 2016, becoming a new member 
city of the "trillion yuan" club. Its GDP per capita reached the same level of 
rich countries and its index of residents happiness was the highest among 
Chinese cities.

Jack Ma, executive chairman of Alibaba and an iconic figure of Hangzhou city, 
said that Hangzhou was in the past regarded as back garden of Shanghai due to 
its scenic beauty and comfort of living environment, but now it has become a 
model of the new type of social and economic development in China thanks to its 
ever-growing innovation vigor.

Over the past five years, the Hangzhou municipal government set it as the No. 1 
project to develop information economy and promote intelligent application and 
achieved an average annual growth of 9 percent. In 2016, the added value of 
information economy reached 268.8 billion yuan (39 billion U.S. dollars), 
contributing over 50 percent of GDP growth.

Both Chinese and foreign economists believe that the success proves that 
China's supply-side reform is paying off in this city. Cities like Hangzhou 
bring into play their comparative advantage and stick to the transition to 
information economy, which creates quality environment for young 
entrepreneurship.

The legendary story of Jack Ma is well known in the world. As a matter of fact, 
there are many more e-commerce companies like Alibaba in Hangzhou. The city is 
China's first experiment zone of cross-border e-commerce and hosts more than 
one-third of China's e-commerce enterprises. According to iResearch, a 
third-party data provider, 40 percent of China's B2B trading platforms with 
annual sales over 10 million yuan are located in Hangzhou.

Hangzhou is also China's national independent innovation demonstration zone. 
There is a Dream Town in the west of Hangzhou. People call it a fantasy island 
born with dreams. The start-up stories of combing internet entrepreneurship 
with capital are happening every day here. With an area of three square 
kilometers, the Dream Town attracts more than 7,000 entrepreneurs and 700 
projects. A big share of those entrepreneurs are born after 1990.

Hangzhou has become a magnet for talent, capital, projects and other high-end 
elements of entrepreneurship. The latest figures show that in 2016 Hangzhou 
ranked first on the list of TOP20 Chinese cities which has net inflow of 
talents. LinkedIn said in its latest report that Hangzhou is among the Top 
Three cities in China which are most attractive in the eyes of foreigners. In 
the past three years, over 230,000 overseas talents chose to settle down in 
Hangzhou and 94 percent of them work in information software, bio-medicine, new 
energy, energy conservation, financial services, etc.

For example, in Ant Financial Services Group, officially founded in October 
2014 and originated from Alipay which is the world's leading third-party 
payment platform founded in 2004, there is a community of returnees from 
abroad. A majority of them have previously worked for some big names like 
Facebook, Google, Amazon, eBay, Microsoft.

They made a go of what the global financial institutions want to do but failed: 
providing inclusive financial services to small and micro enterprises and 
individual consumers and helping them enjoy the same financial services as 
easily as having a cup of drink, no matter whether they are rich or poor, and 
which country they came from.

Zhao Yide, the Chinese Communist Party chief of Hangzhou, said that the city 
has to break through all obstacles on its way to economic and innovative 
development and economic transformation.

"We have to speed up the creation of a center for innovation and 
entrepreneurship, which is based on 'Internet Plus' strategy and has global 
influence, so that Hangzhou can develop into a beautiful international city," 
he said.

Source: Hangzhou Municipal Government

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