Xiangcheng emerges as core Yangtze River Delta hub

Li Xinran
The Suzhou district's economy has been performing well in recent years with its industrial structure continuously optimized, and emerging industries developing rapidly.
Li Xinran
Xiangcheng emerges as core Yangtze River Delta hub

A bird’s-eye view of Xiangcheng District

If the map of Suzhou is like a butterfly spreading its wings to fly, Xiangcheng District is just staying on its top.

Adjacent to Shanghai in the east, Taihu Lake in the west, the old town of Suzhou in the south and the Yangtze River in the north, the exclusive geographical and traffic location makes Xiangcheng one of the core hubs in the Yangtze River Delta region.

Xiangcheng is in the geographical center of Suzhou. It is also the center of the Shanghai, Nanjing and Hangzhou metropolitan circle and an important node linking the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei metropolitan region, Yangtze River Delta and Pearl River Delta.

In recent years, Xiangcheng’s economy has been performing well, the industrial structure has been continuously optimized, and emerging industries have developed rapidly. The general public budget revenue has maintained double-digit growth for three consecutive years.

Xiangcheng emerges as core Yangtze River Delta hub

Night view of Suzhou North Railway Station

In the first three quarters, although affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, the total industrial output of enterprises with an annual income exceeding 20 million yuan (US$3.1 million) increased by 5.6 percent year on year, ranking first in Suzhou.

The district also reported agreements signed over 627 projects with a total investment of 232 billion yuan this year. Its comprehensive development index among all the districts in Suzhou is just after Suzhou Industrial Park and Kunshan.

Xiangcheng has been focusing on building a big data industrial cluster worth over 100 billion yuan in recent years, promoting digital industrialization and industrial digitization, continuously improving innovation abilities and industrial levels to create a high ground of the big data industry.

At present, the scale of its big data industry exceeds 50 billion yuan, including 34 enterprises each with output of over 100 million yuan and seven enterprises over 1 billion yuan. The district has also created 26 high-end platforms, and the brand influence of big data has been continuously expanded.

Xiangcheng District established the first blockchain research institute in China in Suzhou High-Speed Rail New City in 2017 to independently research and develop the underlying platform of blockchain.

In cooperation with the central bank, the district has established the Yangtze River Delta Digital Currency Research Institute to cultivate the financial technology industry focusing on the application of blockchain technology.

It has been approved as the first blockchain industrial development cluster area in Jiangsu Province, attracting and cultivating a number of blockchain technology and application enterprises, covering the whole industrial chain system of technology, platform and application.

In order to build the Xiangcheng “Chain Valley” brand, more than 20 international and domestic influential blockchain competitions, technical exchange meetings, summit forums and other activities have been held, accelerating the gathering of resources and effectively enhancing regional industrial competitiveness.

The industrial Internet of Things is another major sector of Xiangcheng’s economic development. The district has accelerated “platform construction” and “application promotion,” and made every effort to build an industrial Internet of Things ecosystem. A number of key platforms and professional service providers have been gathered.

Xiangcheng emerges as core Yangtze River Delta hub

Bookmarks with Suzhou characteristics

Meanwhile, Xiangcheng also focuses on the intelligent connected vehicles industry, attracting a large number of leading enterprises and unicorn companies, covering more than 30 subdivided fields, deepening industry-university research cooperation, continuously accelerating key technology research and standard development, and focusing on building the “industrial brain” of domestic intelligent connected vehicles.

It has been approved to build the first Internet of vehicles pilot area in Jiangsu Province, completed the first phase of more than 60 kilometers of test roads, and comprehensively implemented the reconstruction of a 300-kilometer intelligent network road in the district.

Since the establishment of Xiangcheng Digital Finance Industrial Park in October 2017, the digital financial industry in Xiangcheng has stepped onto a fast track of accelerated development, with more than 300 digital financial enterprises gathered, 150 industrial funds settled in, and a total scale of 126.5 billion yuan.

It has signed comprehensive strategic cooperation agreements with 10 financial institutions including Bank of China, Bank of Communications, Postal Saving Bank of China and China CITIC Bank, forming a digital financial industry system characterized by digital currency, blockchain, equity investment and financial services.

The advanced material industry is one of the “six major future industries” that Xiangcheng is focusing on. It is also a leading industry for the development of strategic emerging industries and high-tech industries. It is a key field to cultivate new driving forces for economic development and obtain new competitive advantages in the future. Xiangcheng is now home to 170 advanced material enterprises.

Focusing on the four directions of “pharmacy, medical equipment, medical treatment and medicine,” Xiangcheng highlights the fields of new drug development and industrialization, high-end medical devices, medical health services, medical research and education, and strives to build a national leading innovation high ground of the biomedical industry. There are 150 biomedical enterprises in the district.

Xiangcheng has built the Suzhou International Medical and Health Center with medical school of Washington University and Hopkins University School of medicine, and a number of innovation platforms such as Suzhou Digital Health Industrial Park, Big Health (Suzhou) Innovation Center and Yangtze River Delta Cooperative Hospital with Peking University, Fudan University and Zhongshan Hospital Affiliated to Fudan University.

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