China Science & Technology Digest:
February 15-28, 2003
This digest summarizes S&T-related articles that appeared in the media ATIP monitored in the last half of February 2003. Some articles reference a relevant website to assist readers in obtaining further information. For questions or to request additional information, please send email to ChinaST@atip.or.jp. The exchange rate used for this issue is RMB8.287 against the U.S. dollar.
China Will Invest 700 Billion Yuan for Scientific Development
The Chinese central government invested 267 billion yuan (approx. US$32.22 billion) in science and technology over the past five years, doubling the figure of five years before. It will invest an additional 600 to 700 billion yuan (approx. US$84.47 billion) over the next five years to support scientific development. Statistics show national R&D expenses have increased from the past 50.9 billion yuan (approx. US$ 6.14 billion), or 0.64 percent of GDP, to the current 104.3 billion yuan (approx. US$12.59 billion), or 1.1 percent of GDP. The central government has also drastically increased its input in strategic research programs such as the 863 Program, the Natural Science Foundation, and the Knowledge Innovation Program.
Source: People's Daily 02/2/2030
8.2 Billion Cell Phone Short Messages Sent Last Month in China
A Spring Festival greeting frenzy caused a sharp increase in the number of short messages sent via cell phone last month in China, which reached a total of 8.1933 billion. This figure represents an average of 38.6 messages per mobile phone subscriber in the country. According to statistics released by the Ministry of Information Industry (MII), by the end of January, the number of mobile phone subscribers hit 212 million, which represents an increase of 5.82 million compared to the end of last year. By the end of last month, the number of fixed phone users hit 218 million in China, an increase of 3.58 million over the end of last year, while the monthly increase averaged 2.83 million last year.
Source: Xinhuanet 02/20/2003
Chinese First Digital Chip Developed in Shanghai
Chinese scientists have developed China's first digital signal processor (DSP) chip. The eDSP21600, designed by Shanghai Jiaotong University, is a 16-bit processor with a maximum frequency of 200 megahertz, representing a middle-grade international level. DSP technologies, which can transfer real signals into digital ones at high speed, are now widely used in cell phones, household electrical appliances, computers, and cars. China, a major electrical appliance manufacturer, is the world's largest DSP chips consumer. Last year, the country used around 10 billion yuan (approx. US$1.2 billion) of these microprocessors. However, all DSP chips currently used in China are imported. Experts at the Ministry of Information Technology predict that the country's demand for DSP chips will increase fivefold by 2005.
Semiconductor Manufacturing International (Shanghai) Corporation, based in the city's Zhangjiang High-Tech Park, will mass-produce the chips.
Source: People's Daily 02/21/2003
China's Information Technology Sector Reports Slowdown
China's information technology (IT) sector grew by 11 percent last year, the lowest growth rate in recent years. A total of 9.756 million desktop computers were sold throughout China in 2002, a number that is up 10.2 percent over the previous year, whereas sales of laptops surged 48.8 percent as a result of lower prices. In contrast with the overall sluggish IT market, electronic products for consumer use grew rapidly. The annual sales of digital cameras on the Chinese market soared 80.8 percent to reach 396,000 units, generating total sales revenue of 1.8 billion yuan (approx. US$216 million) in 2002, which is up 67.8 percent. Software sales generated 8.65 billion (approx. US$1.04 billion) in revenue last year, a rise of 33 percent from the previous year.
Source: China Daily 02/21/2003
China Discovers New Genes That Cause Parkinson's Disease
Chinese scientists discovered two new mutational genes that are highly related to familial Parkinson's disease. The Nature Genetics journal's first edition of this year reported the findings of the research team with the Ruijin Hospital affiliated to the Shanghai No. 2 Medical College. Researchers found that two protein genes on the human No. 2 chromosome are mutational, and may affect the growth and maturity of dopamine nerve cells, which are believed to be an important factor behind Parkinson's disease.
On one hand, the newly found mutational genes may help reduce the function of dopamine nerve cells in trans-genetic cells, leading to a decrease in synthesized dopamine. On the other hand, they may contribute to a reduction in the expression of lymphatic cells.
Source: People's Daily 02/20/2003
China Puts New Anti-AIDS Drug in Clinical Use
China has approved nationwide clinical use of a new anti-AIDS drug, based on traditional Chinese medicine, which is believed to be the most effective ever used in the country. The drug, named Immunicin Tonic, was developed by researchers at the Xi'an branch of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. It was said that Immunicin Tonic is designed to prevent the HIV virus from entering the human body cells while increasing the quantity and quality of white blood cells and stimulating the immune system. It then restrains viral activity by bringing the immune system back to normal.
HIV carriers in China have exceeded one million since the first case was found in 1985. Chinese medical experts fear that over eighty percent of patients might miss out on medical treatment since the average cost of the treatment is too high.
Source: Xinhua News Agency 02/25/2003
China Approves Production of HIV Testing Reagent
The State Drug Administration of China has approved the production of a new reagent that simplifies testing for HIV, the AIDS virus. The new product can give a result within 30 minutes, while conventional testing methods take at least two weeks. It was developed by scientists at Xiamen University and the Beijing Wantai Biological Pharmacy Enterprise.
Source: Xinhua News Agency 02/21/2003
Oracle to Train 4,000 Chinese Software Engineers Annually
Oracle signed an agreement with the China International Talent Exchange Foundation (CITEF) to jointly train 4,000 Chinese software engineers annually. The program will train local personnel for China's eleven national software bases in major cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, and Chengdu. Oracle will also offer its patent software products, teaching materials, and test service, valued at more than 100 million yuan (approx. US$12 million).
Source: Xinhua News Agency 02/20/2003
Organ Transplant Center Opens in Shanghai
With support from Shanghai No 2 Medical University, Shanghai opened an organ transplantation center at Ruijin Hospital. In addition to liver and kidney transplants, the center will explore more complex medical fields such as intestinal, islet, and pancreatic transplants. Multi-organ transplants such as liver-kidney and liver-small bowel are also under research.
Source: China Daily 02/18/2003
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