Briefing: Alibaba’s home province Zhejiang to invest billions in tech innovation

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China’s private business hub pledges financial support for developing tech – Xinhuanet

What happened: China’s wealthy coastal province, Zhejiang, will invest around $17.3 billion as part of a plan to drive innovation in the technology and medical research industries, local leaders said Monday. The provincial government will also guide financial institutions to invest an additional RMB 290 billion (around $42 billion). The province’s five-year plan includes 50 measures to boost the technology sector, including initiatives to increase patent numbers and research and development spending in the provincial-level GDP.

Why it’s important: Zhejiang province has long been a testing ground for public technology initiatives. Capital city Hangzhou, for example, earlier this year stressed the ways it integrates the internet into public services. In September, the municipality launched City Brain 2.0, a system that monitors the locations of vehicles across the city. Private businesses make up nearly two-thirds of the economy in Zhejiang, which is also home to e-commerce giant Alibaba.