China edges closer to top 10 most innovative economies: WIPO 

China is still the only middle-income economy in the list of the world’s top 30 most innovative economies, establishing itself as a global innovation leader and approaching the top 10, according to a report released by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) on Monday.

WIPO’s Global Innovation Index (GII) 2021 report shows that China has made continuous progress from ranking 14th last year to 12th this year and is now “knocking at the door of the GII top 10,” which “underlines the continued importance of governmental policies and incentives to stimulate innovation.”

Since 2013, China has moved up the GII ranks consistently and steadily, establishing itself as a global innovation leader.

According to the GII, the number of China’s patents by origin, scaled by GDP, is higher than those of Japan, Germany and the U.S., and is even more impressive when considered in absolute terms. The same is true for the number of trademarks and industrial designs by origin as a percentage of GDP.

In terms of innovation clusters geographically, the top 10 list remains the same as last year with only minor shifts. Shenzhen-Hong Kong-Guangzhou and Beijing now rank second and third, respectively, after the Tokyo-Yokohama cluster in Japan. Shanghai ranks eighth. Of the top 100 clusters, China has 19.

Published annually, the GII provides performance measures and ranks 132 economies on their innovation ecosystems. As in past years, Switzerland, Sweden, the U.S. and the UK continue to lead the innovation ranking. Other countries in the GII top 10 include South Korea, the Netherlands, Finland, Singapore, Denmark and Germany.

According to WIPO Director General Daren Tang, “in spite of the massive impact of the COVID-19 pandemic … many sectors have shown remarkable resilience, especially those that have embraced digitalization, technology and innovation.”

“As the world looks to rebuild from the pandemic, we know that innovation is integral to overcoming the common challenges that we face and to constructing a better future,” he said.

Source: Xinhua News Agency,WIPO

Alibaba Pledges US$15.5 Billion To China’s ‘Common Prosperity’ Push

Alibaba Group has committed RMB100 billion (US$15.5 billion) to finance 10 initiatives promoting “common prosperity” in China, supporting a nationwide push towards a fairer society.

To this end, Alibaba has set up a dedicated task force, spearheaded by Group Chairman and CEO Daniel Zhang, to see through each initiative by 2025, the company said in a statement on Friday.

The task force will focus on technology innovation, economic development, creating high-quality jobs, care for vulnerable groups, as well as launching a RMB20 billion Common Prosperity Development Fund that will help cut income inequality in Alibaba’s home province of Zhejiang.

“Alibaba is a beneficiary of the strong social and economic progress in China over the past 22 years. We firmly believe that if society is doing well and the economy is doing well, then Alibaba will do well,” said Zhang in the statement.

Hangzhou-headquartered Alibaba’s pledge is one of the largest made by a private sector company this year in alignment with China’s efforts to reduce income inequality.

China’s campaign to reduce the country’s wealth gap dates back to the foundation of the Communist Party but has come into greater focus this year after President Xi Jinping pledged to make solid progress towards common prosperity by 2035 after eradicating extreme poverty.

pilot program is already underway in Zhejiang province to narrow its income gap by 2025, creating an olive-shaped social structure by making middle-income households the mainstay of its economy.

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China issues crackdown on unwanted and incessant push notifications

Mobile phone users will be able to get rid of the incessant and undesirable push notifications on their phones in the near future, as the Cyberspace Administration of China just implemented a crackdown against vulgar and incessant push notifications on Friday.

The administration has gathered that the push notifications that receive the most complaints are news without clear sources and incessant news notifications; hyped-up natural calamities, incidents, and crimes; hyped-up entertainment gossip and vulgar content with problematic values; notifications that abuse algorithms to push individualized notifications; and news providers that are not qualified to push notifications.

The crackdown will be implemented on news apps, mobile browsers, official WeChat accounts and tool apps.

Also, the administration required the above-mentioned four categories of apps and accounts to follow these requirements:

News notifications pushed must have clear sources;

Notifications must not hype up trendy issues to manipulate public sentiments;

Entertainment gossip and violent and vulgar content are prohibited from being pushed;

Opinions of immoral and controversial public figures and celebrities are prohibited from being pushed;

And bloody scenes of incidents and natural calamities shouldn’t be stressed or singled out.

Further details of the crackdown are yet to be introduced.

Over 2 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines administered in China

More than 2 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines had been administered in China as of Thursday, with over 889 million people in the country fully vaccinated against the novel coronavirus, a health official said Friday.

Continuous efforts will be made to advance the mass vaccination campaign, Mi Feng, spokesperson for the National Health Commission, told a press conference, while warning against any slackness among the public in personal protection.

China has extended its mass vaccination program to minors between 12 and 17, with more than 124 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines administered among the age group as of Thursday, said Wu Liangyou, deputy head of the NHC’s disease control and prevention division.

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