One in four smartphones in the world are made in Dongguan. Over 10,000 enterprises with annual revenue of RMB 20 million or more are located in the city. This city, benefiting from its well-developed manufacturing industry and open economy, serves as a window-for the world onto Guangdong and China.
According to the Outline Development Plan for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area released in 2019, the Greater Bay Area will “develop a globally influential and competitive cluster of world-class high-end manufacturing industries, such as electronic communications, on the east bank of the Pearl River with Shenzhen and Dongguan as its core.”
On September 3rd, journalists participating in the Southeast Asian Media Greater Bay Area Tour began their visit of Dongguan, gaining insight into the manufacturing upgrade, reform and development of the city through visits to the Dongguan Port, China Spallation Neutron Source (CSNS), Songshan Lake Xbot Park and Topstar Technology Co., Ltd.
Dongguan goods shipped to all over the world through Dongguan Port
Journalists visit the Dongguan Port. [Photo by Will]
When the journalists arrived at the Dongguan Port after a heavy rain, containers are being loaded and unloaded, ships berthing and setting sail, all in good order.
A staff member told the reporters that Dongguan Port is one of the top 40 world ports, its container throughput reached 3,560,000 TEUs and cargo handling capacity 164 million tons in 2018. Right behind the port is the Dongguan Bonded Logistics Center, the only center in Dongguan that enjoys distinctive policies at national level and serves over 3,500 enterprises in the city every year.
Now Dongguan Port has opened ship routes to major ports in the coastal regions of China, such as Dalian, Tianjin, Liangyungang, Shanghai and Fujian province, as well as to Vietnam. More new sea routes to Southeast Asian countries will be opened in the future.
According to the head of Dongguan Port, the volume of Dongguan’s imports and exports to the countries and regions along the Belt and Road has reached 138.16 billion RMB in the first half of this year, up 20.8%, and to ASEAN, Dongguan’s biggest trade partner, 83.7 billion RMB, up 22.8%.
CSNS facilitates industrial upgrade in the GBA
CSNS, a large scientific facility, is located in Dalang, a town in Dongguan. On first glance it appears to be little more than several buildings surrounded by litchi trees. Going down 17 meters underground, however, you will see the source composed of an 80 MeV Hˉ linac, a 1.6 GeV rapid cycling synchrotron (RCS) and a target station with three initial instruments used for neutron scattering research.
Journalists pose for a group photo at CSNS. [Photo by Will]
Journalists visit CSNS. [Photo by Will]
Liu Chen, office director of Dongguan Neutron Science Center, gave a detailed explanation of the working principle to the journalists. Ms. TAN Dawn Wei, China Bureau Chief of The Straits Times, said this was an eye-opening trip for her. TAN pointed out that Singapore and the Greater Bay Area can enhance exchange and cooperation in the field of scientific and technological innovation.
August 23rd marked the CSNS’s first anniversary of being put into operation. Billed as a “super microscope”, the CSNS was jointly built by the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Guangdong provincial government, making China the fourth spallation neutron source in the world.
Robotics industry expands its presence in Southeast Asian
In Topstar’s laboratory, a 7-axis collaborative robot demonstrated a range of motion similar to a human arm. An engineer controlled it to complete multiple tasks, such as going up, down and backwards. Due to its ability to learn on the fly, it performed all movements in one go. Journalists from Southeast Asia were impressed with the demonstration.
The journalists also visited the beautiful Songshan Lake Xbot Park, a global startup incubator focusing on robotics and smart hardware.
Journalists watch a Narwel’s cleaning robot at the Songshan Lake Xbot Park. [Photo by Will]
Journalists visit Topstar’s laboratory. [Photo by Will]
At the park, the journalists’ attention was drawn by a Narwel’s cleaning robot which is capable of sweeping, mopping, and washing the mop, no help needed, being the first of its kind in the world. According to Narwel’ head, the company’s robot products have been sold to many countries and regions around the world, including the Southeast Asian ones. Narwel has signed an agent in Singapore where its physical store Funan Mall will start business in November.
A total of 53 startups and 32 startup teams moved into the Xbot Park, and 27 teams have turned into viable businesses. The gross output is now worth over $1.9 billion. Furthermore, Songshan Lake’s natural environment provides teams with excellent conditions for work and life, and the robotics industry is boosting growth in the new city.
Journalists view the up-to-date industrial robots at the QKM Technology (Dongguan) Co., Ltd. [Photo provided to Newsgd.com]
Journalists visit Agile·X Robotics. [Photo by Will]
Ms. HAN Yonghong, Vice Editor Chief of Lianhe Zaobao, said made-in-Dongguan products are very popular in Singapore. She suggests that the two regions should enhance cooperation and exchange of universities and scientific research enterprises to increase hi-tech innovation capacity.
Smart manufacturing, represented by Topstar and Narwel, along with new materials and new energy has emerged as a top 10 pillar industry in Dongguan. In 2018 Dongguan funded 16 projects for facilitating strong growth in smart manufacturing.
Binhai Bay New District provides a new opportunity for international collaboration
Last month, the Deepening Overall Reform Commission under the Guangdong Provincial Party Committee approved the establishment of a pilot area exploring supply side reform innovation in the manufacturing industry in Guangdong; it is the first of its kind in Guangdong.
In June 2019, the Guangdong Provincial Development and Reform Commission released the Overall Development Plan for the Binhai Bay New District in Dongguan (2019-2035), the first development plan for a provincial-level new district approved by Guangdong government since the release of the Outline Development Plan for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.
The planning map of Binhai Bay New District [Photo/Xinhua]
A map in the Launch Area of Binhai Bay New District shows that the new area is to be located 20 kilometers west of Nansha, the sub-center of Guangzhou. The two districts are located on both sides of Shiziyang channel. It is 50 kilometers southeast of Bao’an and Qianhai, pivotal in Shenzhen’s strategy of joining forces with areas in western Guangdong.
For Southeast Asian countries, it may present a precious opportunity. The greatest advantages of the Binhai Bay New District include strong industrial foundation and well-developed supporting facilities, such as smart terminals and metal molding in Chang’a and clothing and electronic information in Humen as well as supply chain and exhibition economies. These dominant industries will ultimately turn into elements of smart manufacturing and artificial intelligence. For example, benefiting from its leading costuming industry, Humen will most likely become a hub of industrial design.
Editors: Wing, Simon