EYESHENZHEN  /   Opinion

An alluring prospect of Shenzhen-Hong Kong innovation cluster

Writer: Miss Do-Good  | Editor: Jane Chen  | From:  | Updated: 2019-04-08

“This rapid rise in Chinese use of the international patent system shows that innovators there are increasingly looking outward, seeking to spread their original ideas into new markets as the Chinese economy continues its rapid transformation,” said WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization) Director General Francis Gurry.

Two Shenzhen technology companies, Huawei Technologies and ZTE, were the top filers of international patent applications in 2017, followed by Intel and Mitsubishi, according to WIPO. Huawei, with a record number of 5,405 published PCT applications, remained the top corporate filer in 2018, while ZTE took the fifth spot.

These rankings mean more than meets the eye regarding Shenzhen’s achievements in innovation and innovative dynamics. In GII (Global Innovation Index) 2018, which was published in September 2018, the Shenzhen-Hong Kong innovation cluster was ranked second among the top-100 science and technology clusters in the world, following Tokyo-Yokohama. GII 2018 was conducted by WIPO, too. When assessing the worldwide science and technology cluster, WIPO’s economist added the scientific articles and patents filed via PCT to evaluate global innovation clusters, including Tokyo-Yokohama, Shenzhen-Hong Kong, San Jose-San Francisco, Beijing and other innovation clusters. WIPO used an algorithm to sort these data and map the techniques. Through this, Shenzhen-Hong Kong cluster came out the second in terms of the intensity of innovation-related activities.

As everyone knows, ZTE was suffering the hardship of scrutiny from the U.S. in 2018. From my point of view, the innovative outcome of this company will be under great influence. However, it did not produce a negative impact on the GII 2018 ranking of the Shenzhen-Hong Kong innovation cluster. The prospect of the Shenzhen-Hong Kong innovation cluster may be more alluring than we think. And the ranking in the upcoming GII may be of great promise.

Another big positive is that the Chinese Government is doing a lot to nurture innovation in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area. The Greater Bay Area’s outlined development plan gives great opportunities many other regions can only dream of. China’s Greater Bay Area, which features different social systems, tax systems and customs, bears some resemblance to the EU, which attains great achievements through the Horizon 2020 policy to boost the innovation. Shenzhen and Hong Kong enjoy great support from the State, but they must work hard for all the rewards they want and deserve.

(With previous work experience in the United States, the author now works in Shenzhen and has studied the innovation policies for some time.)