China’s research and development (R&D) spending intensity, or the expenditure on R&D as a percentage of its gross domestic product, built up to 2.44 percent in 2021, shows a yearly statistical bulletin.

The rate, jumping from 1.91 percent in 2012, ranks the top among developing countries and is higher than the European Union’s average level, said Liu Huifeng, a researcher from the Chinese Academy of Science and Technology for Development.

In 2021, China invested 2.8 trillion yuan (about 405 billion U.S. dollars) in R&D, rising 14.6 percent over that of 2020. Among it, over 2 trillion yuan, or nearly 77 percent, was funded by the enterprises, according to the country’s R&D bulletin in 2021 released on Wednesday.

China is expected to spend more than 3 trillion yuan on R&D in 2022, said Liu.

Liu added that China’s R&D spending from the corporate sector was the second largest in the world last year.


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The country’s investment in basic research in that year totaled 181.7 billion yuan, a 23.9 percent year-on-year increase, shows the bulletin. It accounted for 6.5 percent of the overall R&D spending, maintaining a 6-plus percentage growth for three consecutive years.

Provincially, the R&D spending in Guangdong, Jiangsu, Beijing, and Zhejiang stood in the first echelon, exceeding 200 billion yuan each.

A slew of provinces in central and western China, including Hubei, Hunan, Sichuan, and Henan, rose to the 100-billion-yuan club in R&D spending, according to the bulletin.

Originally published by Xinhua