Internationalization • Beijing

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An international city is defined as a metropolis that plays an important role in global political, economic and other social activities and has a leading role and radiation-driven capability.

In 2018, global foreign direct investment (FDI) was USD 1.2 trillion.

China's utilization of foreign capital has reached a record high of USD142 billion. The Asian region, especially China, already has a large influence in the global market.

With the world city as the target, Chinese cities are getting closer and closer.

The "List of World-class Cities" published by GaWC is considered to be the most authoritative ranking of world cities currently recognized by countries and institutions in the world. Looking at the seven famous cities in the world in the past ten years, London, New York, Paris, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Beijing and Shanghai, we find that the gap between Chinese cities and the world cities is getting smaller and smaller, and the ranking of Chinese cities is rising year by year.

The latest release in 2018 shows that Beijing has replaced Singapore for the first time and entered the world's top four cities. There are three cities in China that have entered Alpha+ level, namely Hong Kong, Beijing and Shanghai.

PwC's report of "Cities of Opportunities"

From a people-oriented perspective, the economic and  social development of 30 commercial center cities in the world was comprehensively investigated. The observation of the world famous cities in the past ten years disclosed that:

• London's strength remains stable, especially in the fields of intellectual capital and innovation.

• Singapore is rising rapidly, leading the world in technology maturity, transportation and infrastructure, and a business-friendly environment.

• Beijing is growing rapidly in terms of economic strength and gateway city, and currently ranks third in the world.

• Shanghai has improved in the dimensions of gateway city and economic influence and is currently ranked 7th in the world.

"The Beijing Urban Master Plan (2016 -2035)" clearly states that Beijing will build a national political center, a cultural center, an international communication center, and a scientific and technological innovation center as its core to enhance the city's comprehensive competitiveness and international influence and to build an international first-class harmonious and livable city by 2035.

In order to objectively reflect Beijing's internationalization level, PricewaterhouseCoopers has designed 10 indicators and 30 variables to evaluate Beijing's internationalization level from three aspects of international influence, international growth and international support, based on the criteria of London, New York, Paris, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Shanghai, and in combination with the inspection dimensions of " List of World-class Cities" and "City of Opportunities".

The evaluation results in 2019 disclosed that: the overall score of Beijing's internationalization level is 94 points, ranking the 6th. Of which:

• Ranking the 4th place in terms of international influence

• Ranking the 6th place in terms of international growth

• Ranking the 7th place in terms of international support

The evaluation result disclosed that London and New York ranked first and second, scoring 162 points and 134 points respectively.


International influence

Beijing scored 44 points, ranking fourth. Among them, Beijing performed well in the growth rate of GDP, the number of top 500 enterprises in the world, the number of multinational companies and headquarters enterprises.

Strong economic strength, leading GDP in whole China

• In 2018, Beijing's GDP topped RMB 3 trillion for the first time, increased 6.6% over the previous year.

• The per capita disposable income of residents in the city was RMB62,361, increased 9.0% over the previous year.


There are 4064 HQ enterprises in Beijing. In 2018, the cumulative assets, operating income and profits of these HQ enterprises accounted for 70%, 60% and 90% of the city's enterprises above scale respectively, which played an important supporting role in Beijing's economic development.

• HQ enterprises have outstanding innovation ability and have become an important part of Beijing's "advanced" industry.

• There are 1745 advanced HQ enterprises, accounting for 43.5% of the total HQ enterprises.

• There are 752 cultural and creative HQ enterprises, accounting for 18.8%.

• The total number of invention patents authorized by HQ enterprises accounts for nearly 50% of the total number of enterprises in the city.

• PCT (Patent Cooperation Treaty) foreign patent applications accounts for 50% of the whole city.

The first choice for multinational HQs to invest in China: as of 2018, 178 multinational HQs have been settled in Beijing. The origins of investment are relatively concentrated, with Japan, Hong Kong, Germany, the United States and South Korea in the top five respectively. Multinational regional HQs have diversified development, including decision-making, investment and financing, settlement, marketing, Purchasing, research and development, etc.

International growth

Beijing scored 28 points, ranking sixth. Among them, the labor supply has performed relatively well. It can further learn from the experience of the world's most advanced cities in terms of the number of researchers, the number of science and technology winners, intellectual capital, technological maturity and livability of the population.

The financial and technology two-wheel driven market is full of potential.

Financial resources proudly lead the whole country

Beijing is China's financial decision-making center, supervision center and the largest center in capital settlement. It is also home to the Central Bank, China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission and the CSRC. The headquarters of China's four largest banks-ICBC, CCB, BOC and ABC, as well as the country's largest life insurance company and property insurance company, and the largest investment company, securities company and fund company are also located in Beijing.

Rich in international financial industry

There are 1,597 international financial institutions in Beijing, of which 364 are legal entities, accounting for 22.79%.

Financial Street, CBD and Zhongguancun have the highest concentration of financial institutions.

•The total assets of financial institutions in the Financial street reached RMB99.5T, accounting for nearly 40% of the country's total, more than half of which are emerging financial formats.

• The CBD area has gathered many international financial institutions such as well-known banks and insurance companies, as well as branches of international financial organizations such as the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and the Asian Development Bank.

• As the most mature innovation and entrepreneurial base, Zhongguancun has gathered a large number of technological innovation enterprises and financial institutions.

The value added of the financial industry has grown steadily

The total scale of the financial industry has increased year by year.

In the past ten years, the added value has increased from RMB151.9B to RMB508.4B, an average annual increase of 20.6%. In 2018, the financial industry grew by 7.2%, contributing 16.8% to economic growth, and became one of the six pillar industries in Beijing.

Strong science and technology service capacity

• In 2018, the revenue of science and technology service industry reached 322.4 billion RMB, an increase of 10.6% over the last year.

• Investment in information transmission, software and information technology services increased by 31.2%, and investment in scientific research and technology services increased by 7.7%.

Rich and diversified science creation resources

• According to China's Urban Science and Technology Innovation Development Report 2018 released by the Capital Institute of Science and Technology Development Strategy, Beijing ranks first in the country's science and technology innovation development cities.

• In 2018, 70000 new science and technology service enterprises were established, accounting for 36.3% of all new enterprises.

• Zhongguancun has played an innovative and exemplary role, and the proportion of high-tech enterprises carrying out scientific and technological activities has remained above 70%.

• More than 10000 angel investors are active in Zhongguancun, accounting for 80% of the country's total.

• The research and development centers of Apple, Mercadon, Tesla, Alibaba Dharma Academy and other internationally renowned enterprise have settled in Beijing.

Beijing has set up a 30 billion RMB science and technology innovation fund to focus on hard science and technology and the early stage of innovation and accelerate the construction of a national science and technology innovation center.

• "Unicorn" enterprises account for more than half of the country

• Gazelle enterprises account for one-quarter of the country

• 25000 high-tech enterprises

• 102.2 new enterprises per 10000 people

• "Double Creation" demonstration bases account for one- sixth of the country's total

• 400+ Incubators, University Science Parks and creative Spaces

• 30,000+ enterprises under incubation

• The number of patent applications in 2018 is 211000, and it is increased by 13.6%

• The total contract value of technology contracts in 2018 was 495.78 billion RMB, an increase of 10.5%

The percentage of social R&D investment in Beijing over GDP reached the level of developed countries.

In 2017, Beijing's R&D expenditure was 159.53 billion RMB, an increase of 7.5% over the previous year, equivalent to 5.7% of GDP. The proportion of developed countries characterized by high-tech industries is about 4%. Beijing pays close attention to social R&D investment and promotes the rapid development of science and technology service industry.

Schematic Diagram of Space Carrying Capacity of Beijing Science and Technology Innovation Center

International support

Beijing scored 22 points, ranking seventh. Among them, international cultural exchanges were relatively excellent, commercial costs tended to be in the middle, and ecological environment, health and safety could be further learned from the world's most advanced urban experience.

Cultural Creative, National Business Card

• In 2018, the income of cultural enterprises above the scale in Beijing reached RMB375.44B, an increase of 19.7% over the last year. Of which, three fields namely of tourism, leisure and entertainment, design services, software networks and computer services have seen rapid growth.

• As of 2018, 89000 cultural enterprises and 222 cultural HQ enterprises had been registered.

Beijing has the richest scientific, technological and cultural resources in the country. Cultural institutions with greater influence account for 80% of China's total.

A number of achievements highlight the country' s pioneering culture with distinctive characteristics

• China's first cultural industry functional area with annual income exceeding RMB100B-National Cultural Industry Innovation Experimental Zone

• China's first "Hummingbird Project" to cultivate listed cultural companies

• China's first national copyright monitoring center platform

• China's first national copyright innovation base

• China's first cultural enterprises credit promotion association

• China's first alliance for old factory protection and utilization and urban cultural development

Ten billion investment funds to support the integration of science, technology and culture

• A total of RMB10B cultural and creative industries development guidance fund has been set up, which includes five sub-funds have including "cultural science and technology integration development" and "Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei cultural industry coordinated development", to expand the investment and financing channels for cultural and creative enterprises.

Schematic Diagram of Cultural Space Carrying Capacity of Beijing

"China Window" for International Exchanges

• Beijing is now becoming a city gathering many international events featuring active international exchanges, perfect international services and outstanding international influence

• 231 countries and regions have trade relations with Beijing

• More than 165 countries and regions made investments in Beijing

• 56 city-level friendship cities

• 8 intergovernmental international organizations that set up headquarters in Beijing

• 25 representative offices of international intergovernmental organizations settled in Beijing

According to the data released by International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) on the number of international organization conferences held in 2017, Beijing ranks first in China, fourth in Asia and 15th in the world.

Exchanges and cooperation in various fields are pragmatic and active.

Beijing has gathered 35,000 permanent foreign institutions, more than 4,000 regional headquarters and R&D centers of multinational corporations, and 53 headquarters of the world's top 500 enterprises, ranking first in the world.

In the field of culture, activities such as "The Night Of Beijing" and "Happy Spring Festival" have been held overseas to tell Beijing stories and promote Beijing culture going out.

In the field of education, the number of brand programs for Sino-foreign cooperation in running schools, Confucius Institute, Confucius Class and education exchanges with foreign countries has been steadily increasing. As of 2018, the number of foreign students studying in Beijing exceeded 120,000.

The international influence of brand activities continues to expand.

Hosted Beijing Fair, Science Fair, Cultural Fair, International Film Festival, International Design Week and other brand activities to enhance Beijing's influence in international exchanges. The Beijing International Film Festival has become the first film trading market in Asia.

Actively apply for and organize financial global forums, IAAF World Championships, International Garden Expo, 2020 World Leisure Conference and other activities to expand the level and field of international exchanges in Beijing.

"Double Olympic City" achieved the glory and dream

Beijing is the first city in the world to host both Summer Olympics and Winter Olympics. In 2022, Beijing will host the Winter Olympics and the Winter Paralympics. Beijing's sports culture is integrated with international exchanges. Olympic culture has been deeply cultivated, enriched and developed in Beijing.