Rise of Chengdu: China's new high-tech hub

Capital city of Sichuan in central China, Chengdu, will host 2013 Fortune Global Forum and now produces over half of world's Intel mobile CPUs.
Written by Liu Jiayi, Contributor

But how about now adding to the list of the host city of the 2013 Fortune Global Forum, origin of more than half of the world's Intel mobile CPUs, the world's fastest-growing city by Forbes... The list goes on.

20120711084353380(Credit: Liu Jiayi)

Since 2002, Chengdu has been developing at an incredible speed: the economy quadrupled2011 GDP rose by 15 percent; its high-tech manufacturing industry grew 40 percent; urban and rural residents' disposable income up 15 percent and 20 percent, respectively; and its import and export increased by 54 percent and 40 percent, respectively. 

All of the above could not have been possible if it weren't for Intel.

It all began in 2001, when Intel did a feasibility study on investing in western China. Dozens of visits and negotiations back and forth from 2001 to 2003 proved to be worth it. Intel has been investing US$600 million in the city, making it one of the biggest chip assembly and testing centers in the world. Intel's monumental 1 billionth chip was also produced here, according to a local newspaper.

"In order to set up good relationships, the Chengdu municipal government set up an Intel office especially for us 10 years ago," said Gu Yi, Intel's spokesperson for western China. "We have been expanding very rapidly during our nine years here."

Other hardware big players like Texas Instruments, Uinsem, Motorola and others followed suit by investing in integrated circuit design, research and development, and chip assembly, testing and manufacturing, etc.

The government also attracts software companies and with preferable policies and huge investment in the city's new high-tech district.

"When we first arrived, it was all barren land," said Bai Fan, managing director of Symantec's Chengdu R&D center. "To our surprise, the government negotiated with us--a software company--with great enthusiasm, while the focus back then was bringing in manufacturing."

"Chengdu presents tremendous opportunities as a base for outstanding talent and we are deeply impressed with the local government's cooperation and support to foreign investors," John Thompson, CEO of Symantec, said.

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