Head of China’s tech ministry calls for enterprises to support core technology

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Wang Zhigang, head of China’s Ministry of Science and Technology, has called for private enterprises to make full use of local policies to gain access to sponsorship and subsidies while aiding in the country’s development of core technologies.

“The private economy is a crucial part of China’s economic development,” Xinhua News Agency cites Wang as saying at a government-led conference in Beijing on Sunday (in Chinese). He said the government aims to support the growth of private businesses by creating a fair market environment for innovation and competition.

The calls come as the government promotes the country’s Made in China 2025 initiative, which seeks to accelerate the move towards a high-value economy, including developing its chipmaking, autonomous driving, new energy vehicle, and space sectors.

While presiding over a symposium with business leaders in November, Chinese President Xi Jinping pledged support to the country’s businesses.

Wang’s comments also come after Chinese policymakers last month vowed to increase support for the private sector in 2019. Measures include tax cuts and faster review of Chinese firms’ IPO and refinancing applications, aiming to alleviate the effects of a slowing economy and trade tensions.

“The country’s private sector should only grow stronger … and should march toward a broader stage,” Xi said, calling for measures to ease companies’ tax payment and financing burdens.

The government also plans to support Chinese tech companies through a new Nasdaq-style equity board that is expected to open in Shanghai as early as the second quarter of 2019.

Additionally, Beijing vowed to create mechanisms to encourage researchers from universities and institutes to start businesses for the commercialization of their research. The government also plans to promote the invention of competitive products by fully leveraging private companies’ flexibility in the market.