Chen Zhilie: Implementing new development concepts to promote high-quality private sector growth

By Chen Zhilie Updated: 2022-07-08


Chen Zhilie is a member of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), and board chairman of Guangdong province-headquartered EVOC Intelligent Technology. [Photo/]

Since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC), the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at the core has attached great importance to the development of the private economy, introducing policies and measures to encourage, support and guide the sector's development. Xi Jinping, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, has given a series of important instructions that have clarified the key status and role of the private sector. He has shown deep care for private enterprises and entrepreneurs, and motivated China's private economy to march toward a broader stage. Here, I would like to talk about a few personal experiences.

First, greater reform and opening-up in full swing

Guangdong is the pioneer, forerunner and test-bed of reform and opening-up. Since the 18th CPC National Congress, Xi Jinping, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, has personally visited Guangdong three times, attended the deliberations of the Guangdong delegation to the National People's Congress twice, and given important instructions on many occasions, thus charting the course and setting the direction forward. Over the years, Guangdong has kept in mind Xi's anticipation, steadfastly implemented the new development philosophy, and actively explored the path to high-quality development. Efforts have been made to carry out policies like "emptying the cage to let the right birds in” and pilot enterprise transformation and upgrading, with a focus on key development areas such as advanced manufacturing and strategic emerging industries. Guangdong has shifted its development from a reliance on hard labor and resources to ideas and services, and made a leap from "Made in Guangdong" to "Created in Guangdong", with R&D spending, number of high-tech enterprises and regional innovation strength all taking first place in the country. In 2021, Guangdong's regional GDP reached 12.4 trillion yuan (about $1.84 trillion), ranking first in the country for the 33rd consecutive year; and this represented an outstanding achievement worthy of the times.

Guangdong as the largest economic powerhouse in China has a well-developed market economy, especially known for its vibrant private sector. The development of Guangdong's private economy and the vitality of various market players formed the steady driver of the province's high-quality development.

Second, private enterprises have more confidence in innovation-driven development

Since the reform and opening-up, China's non-public economy has grown from scratch, from small to large, and from weak to strong, all achievements impossible without the guidance of the Party's policies. Since the 18th CPC National Congress, Xi Jinping, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, has delivered important speeches and given important instructions on the development of the private economy. When joining a panel discussion during a session of the CPPCC National Committee, he suggested establishing a new type of cordial and clean relationships between government and business for the first time. While presiding over a symposium on private enterprises, he said private enterprises and private entrepreneurs belong to our own family. He also mentioned "the private sector should only grow stronger instead of being weakened" and "let entrepreneurs throw away their worries and move forward". Then the report at the 19th CPC National Congress made it clear we should "promote the healthy development of the sector and personnel engaged in the sector. "Later the CPC Central Committee and the State Council jointly released a guideline on creating a better environment to support the reform and development of private enterprises. Those words of encouragement still ring in the ears and the support measures have been put into practice. As a result, private entrepreneurs feel invigorated and more confident, and are more determined to pursue high-quality development.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic in the last two years profound and complex changes took place at home and abroad, and the external environment became increasingly volatile, so private enterprises have faced more pressure. In the face of challenges, the country has eased their difficulties through a slew of measures designed to lower the burden, such as increasing access to credit to tide over the difficulties. We really feel that "enterprises have backbone when under the leadership of the Party" and no achievement can be made without the support and guidance of the Party and government.

Third, become clearer about the direction of sticking to sci-tech self-reliance and self-strengthening

Xi Jinping, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, stressed the need to adhere to self-reliance and self-strengthening in science and technology as a strategic support for national development. Shenzhen, known as the "Silicon Valley of China," has made world-class achievements in science and technology innovation. It’s safe to say that Shenzhen has blazed a trail of original innovation with distinctive features formed over the years. Huawei Technologies, headquartered in Shenzhen, is the world's biggest telecommunications equipment provider and one of the few non-listed companies in the Fortune Global 500 ranking. Huawei has more than 700 mathematicians, over 800 physicists and 120-plus chemists. Among the top 10 companies in the 2021 China Top 500 in R&D investment, Huawei secured first place with a spending of 141.893 billion yuan. By the end of 2021, Huawei had applied for 90,000 invention patents. Insisting on sci-tech self-reliance and self-strengthening is the code of Huawei's success and the sure way to the growth of private high-tech enterprises.

Our company EVOC Group is a private high-tech manufacturing enterprise and the leading supplier of industrial internet solutions in China. We have increased our investment in R&D over the years, focused on breaking through bottlenecks in core technologies, and enhanced our core competitiveness. Our annual R&D spending accounts for 10% of our business revenue. We have three technology innovation platforms at the national level, more than 1,100 licensed patents and 1,300 non-patented core technologies and other intellectual property rights. We have also taken the lead in accomplishing tasks in the key State development strategy that focuses on core electronic devices, high-end universal chips and basic software products. In our industry, EVOC has leaped to the first place in China and the second place in the world in terms of market share and product technology performance.

The development achievements of private enterprises have been made under the leadership of the Party, and private entrepreneurs have witnessed and benefited from the Party's good policy of reform and opening-up, for which we feel grateful. We should firmly follow the instructions and guidance of the Party, adhere to the new development philosophy in pursuing the high-quality development of private enterprises, integrate the growth of enterprises into the overall development of the country, shoulder the mission of the times, and contribute to the creation of new and greater miracles that will impress the world!

(The author is a member of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, and board chairman of Guangdong province-headquartered EVOC Group. The article is translated from Chinese to English by

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