(Yicai Global) Feb. 14 -- China's spending on research and development last year was the equivalent of 2.12 percent of gross domestic product as the country realigns its economy to focus more on home-grown technology.
R&D expenditure climbed 11.6 percent to CNY1.75 trillion (USD277 billion) in 2017, preliminary estimates from the National Bureau of Statistics shows. Spending was0.01 percentage point higher as a proportion of GDP than a year earlier. The figures differ slightly from those released by the science and technology ministry last month, which suggested outlays made up 2.15 percent of GDP.
China is in the throes of a revolution in R&D as the country shifts to an economic model based on locally developed technology from one of low-cost and labor-intensive manufacturing. The nation is again taking its place as a global center of innovation and technological change, with world-class research, ideas and products.
At 4.25 percent, Israel heads the global league table in terms of the percentage of GDP spent on R&D. South Korea invests 4.23 percent, while the United States spends 2.7 percent.
Spending by Chinese corporations jumped 13 percent to CNY1.4 trillion last year, marking double-digit growth for the second straight year, the NBS data shows. Government research institutes chipped in CNY242 billion, up 7 percent, and higher learning research departments spent 5.2 percent, more than in 2016.
The bureau also surveyed 1,276 companies with national technology centers whose total spending stood at almost CNY510 billion, 9 percent more than last year and making up nearly 85 percent of research spending at these firms. Those surveyed applied for 7.5 percent more patents in 2016, amounting to 214,000, and secured nearly 36 patents for every CNY100 million spent.
The centers invested 9.6 percent more on new product development, taking that figure to CNY43 billion, to ramp up revenue from those goods by 11 percent to nearly CNY8 trillion, or a third of their core business income.