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China’s R&D Spending Rises 10% to Record $378 Billion in 2020

China’s spending on research and development hit a record high 2.4% of gross domestic product in 2020, according to preliminary data from the National Bureau of Statistics.

China’s total expenditure on R&D rose 10.3% from a year ago to 2.44 trillion yuan ($377.8 billion), the bureau said in a release Sunday. It’s the slowest incremental growth in five years and down from 12.5% in 2019.

China’s top leadership is set to detail additional measures to support self-reliance in technology and innovation at the National People’s Congress that kicks off this week. The ruling Communist party will also announce economic and other policy targets for this year, the next five years, and through the year 2035, at the annual gathering.

U.S. policies that seek to contain China’s continued rise have given new urgency to Beijing’s push for technology self-sufficiency. China has pledged to accelerate development of 5G technologies, semiconductor manufacturing and other technologies seen as critical to the next stage of economic development.


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