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China's R&D spending narrows gap with US, ranking second in world: NBS

2021/9/24 10:16:11   source:Global Times

China's research and development (R&D) spending accounted for 2.4 percent of the country's aggregate GDP in 2020, not only recording a near decade high in growth but is quickly catching up with international standards, and in particular, the US, according to a statistical communique released by the National Bureau of Statistics on Wednesday along with two other government departments.

Last year, China invested a total of 2.4 trillion yuan ($372 billion) in R&D, up 10.2 percent compared with the previous year. The ratio between China's R&D and GDP output had risen by 0.16 percentage point compared with the year of 2019, the highest rate of growth in nearly 11 years.

The numbers also show that China is closing the gap with other countries including the US in terms of R&D input. According to data released by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), R&D spending in the US was about 3.07 percent of GDP in 2019. The OECD has not reported US' R&D spending for 2020.

The NBS noted that in terms of total R&D input, China's R&D spending accounted for about 54 percent of US spending in 2020, while it was 2.1 times that of Japan. Currently, China's R&D spending ranks second globally.

China's average yearly R&D input growth reached 11.8 percent between 2016-2019, significantly higher than the US' 7.3 percent and Japan's 0.7 percent growth.

The data is also a reflection of China's continued efforts to advanced high-tech growth despite the impact of the coronavirus, as the country has rolled out favorable policies, like improving tax exemptions for domestic research companies, that yield positive results for investment in innovation, the NBS noted. 

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