Fact of the Week: Chinese R&D Spending Rose More Than 10 Percent in 2019

Kevin Gawora November 23, 2020
November 23, 2020

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Source: Dennis Normile, “China again boosts R&D spending by more than 10%,” Science, Aug 2020.

Commentary: Total Chinese spending on research and development rose 12.5 percent in 2019 to 2.2 trillion Chinese yuan ($332 billion), or 2.23 percent of China’s GDP. Although this falls short of China’s 2.5 percent target—and China lags far behind the leading OECD countries in research spending relative to GDP—it has been increasing its research spending faster than it has been growing its economy for decades, such that it is now second to the United States in gross research spending. Recent years have seen China increase its spending on basic and applied research, which is likely to drive its innovation going forward and could be a large factor behind an eventual Chinese leadership role in global innovation.