A photo of Shanghai’s Xuhui district, which is home to 119 regional headquarters of multinational companies and 30 foreign-funded R&D centers. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]
Shanghai’s Xuhui district is looking to roll out preferential policies to attract more foreign-funded R&D centers and headquarters, officials announced at a news conference on Monday.
The district is currently home to 119 regional headquarters of multinational companies and 30 foreign-funded R&D centers, and its actual annual utilization of foreign investment has exceeded $1 billion for many years, said Zhong Xiaoyong, the head of the district.
“We will learn from the experience of the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone and work closely with customs and ports to facilitate clearance processes, especially for sectors such as digital economy, cross-border e-commerce and art deals,” said Zhong.
The district has been making efforts to renew its facilities and upgrade its urban planning in recent years. Cao Liqiang, the district’s Party chief, said that authorities have already carried out two rounds of urban renewal during the 14th Five-Year Plan period (2021-25), with the main focus being on Xuhui’s Binjiang area. He added that more rounds of urban renewal will follow in the coming three years.
The Binjiang area, which used to be a manufacturing hub, is now being transformed into a waterfront development zone featuring six large-scale clusters for the media, finance, biomedicine, artificial intelligence, sports and digital technologies sectors, according to Li Feiyu, deputy director of the area’s management office.
“Binjiang area is now home to many international events including the World Artificial Intelligence Conference and Shanghai International Artwork Trade Week. It has also attracted a number of leading companies, including China Media Group, Microsoft Research Asia-Shanghai, Tencent, Netease, Alibaba and Hongkong Land,” Li added.
Hongkong Land, a renowned property investment, management and development group, is constructing a 1.8 million-square-meter complex in the area. The complex is expected to be fully completed between 2027-2028.
“We are closely related to the Binjiang area, and our business development strategy is aligned with Xuhui’s urban planning,” said Zhu Yi, a senior branding executive from the company.
Following the successful transformation of the Binjiang area, the district’s urban renewal efforts will pivot to focus on promoting industrial upgrading, boosting scientific and technological innovation, attracting more companies and talent, as well as improving citizens’ livelihood, according to Cao.
Xuhui’s GDP exceeded 64.82 billion yuan ($9 billion) and its revenue derived from corporate tax totaled 13.2 billion yuan in 2022.