China S&T News Digest for September 20-October 3, 2017

The journal  Economic and Political Studies seeks papers for a special issue on Innovation, Technological Development, and Industrial Restructuring in China. Deadline for submission is  September 30, 2018. 


China is looking to complete its national technology transfer system by 2025, said an outline on the system published  by the State Council, China's cabinet. Also, by 2020, a national technology transfer system that adapts to new circumstances is to be established. Improving the system is key to domestic innovation, economic and social development, and to supporting China's efforts to become a leading power in science and technology. A more unified and open technology market and exchange network on the national level should be set up, the outline noted. Channels for technology transfers should be expanded to increase the influence of the transfer system. For instance, sci-tech achievements from military departments shall be accessible to civilians departments, and vise versa, while cross-regional transfer should be encouraged. The outline also asked for a better policy environment and stronger logistical support to ensure efficient operation.

Administrators of Zhongguancun, known as China's Silicon Valley, will improve services for foreigners in a bid to woo overseas talent. A service counter was set up recently to offer services that include consultation on favorable polices targeting foreign talent and support foreign entrepreneurs with company registration, taxation, employment, intellectual property and financing, according to the high-tech hub's management committee. Beijing has hoped to attract more talented foreigners since it eased permanent-residence requirements in 2016 to meet its ambition to become "an innovation center of science and technology with global clout." Twenty measures took effect on March 1, 2016, mainly targeting managerial-level professionals, Chinese born abroad, entrepreneurs, and newly-graduated foreign students.

A wave of attacks by Chinese hackers on Germany's cutting-edge manufacturers is raising alarm in Berlin and prompting the government to step in to defend the country's competitive edge. The small and midsize companies that make Germany an export powerhouse have landed in the crosshairs of foreign hackers attracted to the firms' valuable but often poorly protected intellectual property, German intelligence officials warn.

Shanghai made a major breakthrough last year toward its goal of becoming an internationally influential science and technology innovation center, as an annual innovation index registered a record high of 224.9 points in 2016, according to a recently released report. About 30 percent of China's top science and technology achievements have come out of Shanghai. More than a third of the national-level awards have been won by people and institutions in the city, and more than 30 percent of new Category 1 drugs were produced there, it said.

A Chinese group that was stopped by Donald Trump from buying a US chip-maker last week has announced a £550m takeover of British chip designer Imagination Technologies. Canyon Bridge Capital Partners' all-cash offer for Imagination showed the buyout fund remained focused on investing in western chip makers after its $1.3bn (£960m) deal to buy Lattice Semiconductor was blocked over US national security concerns.

The first live demonstration of a call powered and securely encrypted using quantum technology marks a huge breakthrough in the realm of quantum communications, and shows the potential impact the technology could have on how information is transmitted and secured. The September 29 quantum video call is the result of a collaboration between researchers at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the Austrian Academy of Sciences, and the University of Vienna. The call was encrypted by sending information embedded in particles of light (photons) generated by the Micius satellite. Micius was launched last year and successfully used quantum cryptography to send data to Earth back in August.

China's domestically developed C919 passenger jet is likely to make its third test flight within days or in up to two weeks, a senior executive told reporters on Friday. The narrow-body C919, which will compete with Boeing Co's  737 and the Airbus SE  A320, completed its second test flight on Thursday, almost five months after its maiden flight earlier this year in May. COMAC Vice President Shi Jianzhong said a number of "issues" relating to the plane's technology and its engine had led to the lengthy gap between the C919's first and second flight. 
COMAC Plans Volume Production of ARJ21 | Aviation Week (requires subscription)

If the Comac ARJ21 was a genuinely commercial program, the manufacturer would at this point say it had done its best, but as everyone knows, developing a jet airliner without experience is tough. Things have not worked out, and it is time to move on. That is not how China works, however. Instead, Comac is gearing up for volume production.

China's land-based Long March space launch rockets have been the backbone of its space program for more than 40 years. It looks like that's about to change, as the nation is making moves to launch from aircraft and ships. Starting next year, China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation will use 10,000-ton freighters as ocean-going launchpads for its Long March 11 launch rocket. The Long March 11 can carry up to 1,100 pounds into low-earth orbit. The plan is to bring the freighters to the equator, so the rockets require less fuel and can accommodate larger payloads. Another alternative is from the air. The China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology announced this month that they're developing a solid-fueled space launch rocket to be dropped from the Y-20. The rocket itself is expected to weigh about 60 tons (the Y-20's payload is 66 tons) and has a low Earth orbit payload of 220 pounds.

Two Chinese lunar missions will be delayed by the failed launch of a powerful rocket in July, a state-run newspaper said, in a setback for the country's ambitious space program. Officials are still investigating why the Long March-5 Y2 rocket malfunctioned on July 2, Science and Technology Daily reported this week, citing Tian Yulong, secretary general of the China National Space Administration. It was China's second heavy-lift rocket and was designed to carry communication satellites into orbit. Authorities have not given any details about the incident.

China's ambitious space project is rapidly moving forward. The Chinese Academy of Science, the main brain behind the Chinese national space project, held the third Beijing International Forum on Lunar and Deep-space Exploration September 19-22. At the forum, Zhang Rongqiao, the chief architect of China's Mars mission, revealed that China plans to carry 13 types of payloads and achieve three goals in its first Mars Probe, scheduled in 2020.

Boeing's Zhoushan 737 MAX completion and delivery site is on track for a 2018 debut.

Russia's space agency is considering sending cosmonauts to China's orbit station currently under construction, Roscosmos chief Igor Komarov told reporters at the International Astronautical Congress. "There have been certain talks on this issue," Komarov said, commenting on whether Russia has received any offers for its cosmonauts to visit China's orbit station in the future. Komarov said he expects that the parliament will ratify a fundamental law regulating the exchange of technologies in rocket industry within one or two months. "I hope that after this a possibility will open for full-fledged and full-scale cooperation."

China National Nuclear Power Co. this month announced a joint venture to build and operate a "traveling wave reactor" in Hebei province, designed by Bellevue, Washington-based TerraPower LLC, whose chairman is Microsoft Corp. founder Bill Gates. The development follows Canada's SNC-Lavalin, which has agreed to build a new recycled-fuel plant with China National Nuclear Corp. and Shanghai Electric Group, and Oak Ridge National Laboratory, which is working with the Shanghai Institute of Applied Physics on a salt-cooled system.

China announced that it would delay until 2019 the enactment of a quota requiring automakers to produce a minimum number of electric cars after some foreign firms and Germany raised concerns. Beijing announced plans earlier to phase out gas vehicles by an unspecified date, but it has also been preparing rules to impose production quotas on car companies.

China has created the world's largest electric-car market by sheer force of will, a giant bet on domestic production that's leaving major foreign auto makers scrambling to keep up. The government is funding its own manufacturers, luring domestic buyers with subsidies, and building a vast charging-station network--while strong-arming its consumers by making sure buying an electric car is the only sure way to get license plates in crowded cities.

China should lead the way on deep-sea research by realizing its goal of building the world's first manned underwater station, a top mainland scientist says. "Exploration in both the deep sea and in space started around the 1940s. But while we have already sent many astronauts and rockets into space, global development in deep-sea technology is still far behind," Liu Xincheng, chief adviser to the deep-sea science and engineering institute at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said in Hong Kong, where he was attending a conference on underwater science.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has called for stronger reform, innovation, and resource integration to improve integrated military and civilian development. Xi made the remarks while presiding over the second plenary session of the Central Commission for Integrated Military and Civilian Development, which he also heads. The session adopted a plan for the development of defense science, technology and industry during the 13th five-year-plan period (2016-2020), and guidelines on advancing integrated military and civilian development in defense science, technology, and industry. Also adopted were guidelines on advancing highly integrated military and civilian development in military logistics during the 13th five-year-plan period, and a draft regulation on management of economic projects that are closely related to national defense.
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