BEIJING, Aug. 27 (Xinhua) -- China's spending on research and development (R&D) hit a record high at 2.23 percent of its GDP in 2019, up by 0.09 percentage points from the previous year, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed Thursday.
China's total expenditure on R&D amounted to 2.214 trillion yuan (about 321.3 billion U.S. dollars) last year, up 12.5 percent, or 246.57 billion yuan compared with that in 2018, according to a report jointly released by the NBS, the Ministry of Science and Technology and the Ministry of Finance.
The figure has seen double-digit growth for four consecutive years, with the growth pace of last year quickening by 0.7 percentage points from the previous year, said Deng Yongxu, an NBS statistician.
Investment in basic research stood at 133.56 billion yuan last year, accounting for 6 percent of the total spending, the data showed.
Expenditure on R&D by enterprises rose 11.1 percent year on year to 1.69 trillion yuan, accounting for 76.4 percent of the total.
Meanwhile, R&D spending by institutions of higher learning went up 23.2 percent from a year earlier to 179.66 billion yuan, accounting for 8.1 percent of the country's total expenditure on R&D.
The steady increase in corporate R&D spending has offered a solid foundation for high-quality development, Deng said.
Last year, R&D investment in the high-tech manufacturing sector reached 380.4 billion yuan, or 2.41 percent of the sector's total operating revenue, representing an increase of 0.14 percentage points than a year ago.
In 2019, six provincial-level regions in China, including Guangdong, Jiangsu, Beijing, Zhejiang, Shanghai and Shandong, each invested more than 100 billion yuan in R&D.
R&D spending in western and central regions logged 14.8-percent and 17.7-percent year-on-year growth last year respectively, faster than that in the eastern area, which rose 10.8 percent, according to Deng. Enditem