China is working hard to boost tech innovation. Source: Shutterstock

China is working hard to boost tech innovation. Source: Shutterstock

China offers new tax breaks to technology and innovation centres

CHINA intends to lead the world in new and emerging technologies.

The country’s President Xi Jinping has made it clear to his country’s regulators and businesses, and to all foreign interests looking at China’s accelerating tech agenda from the outside in.

Recently, the President urged the nation’s top tech giants — including Baidu and Alibaba to put more energy behind their artificial intelligence (AI) projects.

Now, the government has announced that starting next year, it will be granting land tax exemptions for centers of technology incubation and innovation.

According to local media, “State- and provincial-level technology business incubators, university science parks and co-working innovation labs, will all enjoy land tax exemptions in the three years from 2019 to 2021.”

Further, it has been decided that no value-added tax will be levied on income from services and innovations generated by the centers.

President Xi believes that AI is a vital driving force for a new round of technological revolution and industrial transformation, and accelerating AI development is a strategic issue to decide whether China can grasp important opportunities.

The country is busy formulating new policies to help lift Chinese industries – from robotics and aerospace to new materials and new energy vehicles – up the value chain. It aims to replace imports with local products and build global champions that can take on Western giants with cutting-edge technologies.

In other words, it’s aiming to create more companies like Alibaba, Baidu, Tencent, and iFlyTek — who the country has appointed as technology leaders and “national AI champions” to lead innovations in smart cities, self-driving cars, computer vision for medical diagnosis, and voice intelligence.

These initiatives are actually driving more talented tech people from across the world (including the US) back to China to participate in the nation’s pursuit of the “world’s #1 tech leader and innovator” title.

Local companies such as Tencent Holdings Ltd. and up and coming Toutiao are providing prestigious jobs these days. In fact, Microsoft stalwart Qi Lu’s move home to head Baidu Inc’ AI development is one such high profile case that proves the point.

The pace of changing policies in China. Combined with foreign-educated local talent and world-leading homegrown companies, it seems as though China is definitely on its way to become the world leader in emerging technology.