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Xinhua / Huaxia
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(China Economic Roundtable) Backgrounder

Private firms in the second episode of China Economic Roundtable

BEIJING, Nov. 13 - The second episode of the China Economic Roundtable, hosted by Xinhua News Agency, featured the development of China's private businesses, a sector full of vitality and essential to the world's second largest economy. 

The China Economic Roundtable is an all-media talk platform launched by Xinhua News Agency, with the second episode featuring the Chinese private economy. 

During the discussions, Bai Jingwei, co-founder of Qitan Technology Ltd. from Chengdu, and Zhou Zhen, president of Guangzhou Hexin Instrument Co., Ltd., commented on the potential and challenges of the private sector, with the stories of Hangzhou Wahaha Group and the Yiwu International Trade Market shared on the screen.

These private firms and the trade market offer a glimpse into millions of outstanding private businesses in the country that have inspired many with their rags-to-riches tales.

The following is some background information on the firms and the market mentioned in the discussions.

Hangzhou Wahaha Group

Once a school-run firm, Hangzhou Wahaha Group is a food and beverage giant. Founded in 1987, the company has become a leading enterprise with 81 production bases and more than 180 subsidiaries, employing nearly 30,000 people.

In the recently released 2023 edition of China's top 500 private enterprises, the group was on the list again, with a total operation revenue of 51.2 billion yuan (about 7.13 billion U.S. dollars) in 2022.

"For Chinese entrepreneurs, it is essential to be patriotic, to innovate continuously and to care for employees," said the group's founder, 77-year-old Zong Qinghou. "Only in this way can private firms thrive."

Yiwu International Trade Market

Yiwu, once an impoverished county, has grown into a hub of the global small-commodity trade.

The Yiwu International Trade Market, the world's largest small-commodity market, deals with over 2.1 million types of commodities that reach about 230 countries and regions around the world.

Every year more than 560,000 overseas buyers visit Yiwu, and the city hosts over 15,000 merchants from more than 100 countries and regions.

To better cater to demand from foreign buyers and obtain more orders, the market has been working to elevate the quality of goods, enhance innovation and deepen the integration of online and offline, ensuring the name of "the world's supermarket" continues to shine.

Guangzhou Hexin Instrument Co., Ltd.

Guangzhou Hexin Instrument Co., Ltd., a pioneer in the domain of mass spectrometers, is rising quickly amid China's pledge to advance sci-tech innovation. Established in 2004, the company is a provider of high-end mass spectrometry products, as well as relevant testing services.

With more than 200 mass spectrometry patents, it is one of a few companies in the world that owns the core technology of high-resolution time-of-flight mass spectrometry.

"Staying focused on our main tasks and sticking to innovation has always been our top priority," said Zhou Zhen, president of Hexin.

Qitan Technology Ltd.

Qitan Technology Ltd., Chengdu, is a high-tech enterprise focusing on the development of nanopore sequencing technology. In 2020, the company developed China's first nanopore gene sequencer.

Bai Jingwei, the company's co-founder, said China's policy support to the health sector has encouraged private investment in this sector and is an important factor behind the sector's rapid development over the past five to 10 years. 

Xinhua / HuaxiaKailun Sui

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