China's burgeoning new economy is playing an increasingly crucial role in promoting technological innovation, expanding employment and boosting high-quality development amid challenges and uncertainties at home and abroad, industry experts said after reviewing a list of the country's top 500 new economy enterprises in 2021.
The latest list was released by the China Enterprise Evaluation Association.
Tech heavyweight Tencent topped the latest list, followed by Alibaba and ByteDance.
The competition in the new economy sector is intense. More than one-third of the companies that figured in the 2020 list failed to make it to the 2021 list. Beijing has the largest number of new economy enterprises－102－in the latest list.
Some 422 private-sector companies dominate the list.
The list is compiled using criteria like market value, enterprise size, profitability, growth rate, innovation capacity, social impact and level of internationalization.
Experts said the new economy comprises new industries, new business formats and new business models concentrated in nine key fields. These include the internet, modern information technology services, advanced manufacturing, new energy, modern productive service activities and new types of life-enhancing services.
"China's new economy embodies the advanced productive forces of a modern industrial system and core strength in scientific and technological innovation. It also leads the sustainable development strategy in the new era," said Hou Yunchun, president of the CEEA.
Using innovative digital technologies like big data, cloud computing and artificial intelligence, China's new economy enterprises are able to deploy a wide range of applications across various industries. They are also integrating with the real economy. This trend is injecting fresh impetus into global economic recovery as well, experts said.
Long Haibo, a senior researcher at the Development Research Center of the State Council, China's Cabinet, said "innovation is the major driving force for economic growth". Digital transformation and manufacturing upgrades have entered the fast lane in China, he said.
"Facilitating the growth of new economy is of vital significance to boost innovation-driven development, optimize the country's economic structure and speed up digital and intelligent upgrades in enterprises," Long said.
More efforts should be made to achieve breakthroughs in key underlying technologies, expand industrial applications of cutting-edge digital technologies, and let new economy enterprises play a bigger role in stabilizing global supply and industrial chains, he said.
Noting the core of new economy lies in innovation, and innovative research and development are vital to cultivating new drivers of growth, Xu Xianchun, a professor of economics at Tsinghua University, called for stepping up innovative R&D efforts to foster new economic growth points.
The development of the new economy is conducive to propelling the country's high-quality and long-term sustainable development, said Jiang Han, a senior researcher at market consultancy Pangoal, adding most of the new economy enterprises are private businesses, which have greater vitality and flexible employment forms.
China's private enterprises contributed to over 60 percent of GDP in 2021, over 70 percent of technological innovation as well as more than 80 percent of urban employment, according to the National Development and Reform Commission.
Wang Changlin, president of the Academy of Macroeconomic Research, said that to cultivate the new economy, the primary task is to create a favorable environment for entrepreneurs and startups. Such an environment should lay emphasis on a strong sense of innovation and entrepreneurship culture, as well as a solid foundation for science and technology education.
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