Launched in 1988 with special approval from China’s Central Government, Haidian Park is widely known as China’s Silicon Valley. With generous tax breaks and other preferential treatment, it has been the country’s leading incubator of high-tech businesses. As such, it has also served as a major cradle of the knowledge-based economy in China.
Covering an area of about 100 square kilometers, the park has in it a dense concentration of scientific and engineering talents, which is rare not only in China but also around the world. Working in this park are some 400,000 highly educated teachers, researchers, engineers, scientists and support staff.
138 top-notch research institutions, including the topmost Chinese Academy of Sciences, are based in the park, as are 56 leading higher-learning institutions, including Peking University and Tsinghua University, dubbed respectively as China’s Harvard and MIT.
Some 6,000 high-tech companies operate in the park, 70 per cent of which have their core business in IT industry. Over half of China’s top 200 internet companies are based in this park. The park’s economy has been growing at an average rate of 30 per cent a year since its inauguration. In 2000, technological, trade and industrial revenue in this park totaled US$14 billion, contributing to 60 per cent of Beijing's industrial growth in the year.
The park’s administration is also the country’s most advanced in implementing an e-government program. It has built up an elaborate e-government platform online. Applications for park membership, preferential tax status, certification as high-tech enterprises, and regulatory advice can now be made to and processed by the park administration anywhere and anytime. With the institution of the e-government program, the park administration, as an extension of the local government, now enjoys a new type of relationship with the businesses, in which it serves as much as it supervises.