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September 4, 2019

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R&D key to Dongfang’s survival

In the early 1980s, a steam turbine factory was at the brink of bankruptcy, forcing its workers to produce kitchen knives to survive. The factory now has turned into one of the world’s largest manufacturers of power generators, with its products and services exported to nearly 80 countries and regions.

The secret behind the transition, said Xu Peng, deputy general manager of Dongfang Electric Corporation, was the company’s relentless efforts in research and development.

“Innovation is what brings us to where we stand today,” Xu said.

Dongfang Electric is among the thousands of industrial firms riding on the tide of China’s rapid development over the past decades. China has seen tremendous progress in its industrial strength, with the manufacturing sector now playing an indispensable role in the global industrial system.

Industrial value-added expanded 970.6 times from 12 billion yuan (US$1.7 billion) in 1952 to 30.52 trillion yuan in 2018, representing an average year-on-year growth rate of 11 percent calculated at the constant price, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.

World Bank data showed China overtook the United State as the world’s largest manufacturing country in terms of added value in 2010 and has retained the first place ever since.

China’s output of mobile phones, computers and televisions amounted to 1.8 billion, 310 million and 190 million units in 2018 respectively, accounting for about 70 percent to 90 percent of global output, NBS data showed.


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