Beijing’s ‘Silicon Valley’ park to set up office in Tel Aviv
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Beijing’s ‘Silicon Valley’ park to set up office in Tel Aviv

The two municipalities, twin cities for 20 years, are ramping up cooperation; new hub to be base for firms seeking business opportunities in the other's market

Vice Mayor of Beijing, Yin Hejun, left, with  Doron Sapir, Deputy Mayor of Tel Aviv on April 8, 2018 (Ezra Levy)
Vice Mayor of Beijing, Yin Hejun, left, with Doron Sapir, Deputy Mayor of Tel Aviv on April 8, 2018 (Ezra Levy)

Beijing’s Zhongguancun Science Park (Z-Park), also known as “China’s Silicon Valley,” said it plans to open a liaison office in Tel Aviv, similar to ones it already has in Silicon Valley and in Canada and Europe.

The announcement of the planned liaison office was made earlier this week in a meeting between the Vice Mayor Yin Hejun of Beijing and Tel Aviv Deputy Mayor Doron Sapir. The park is a technology, science and education hub in the Haidian District in the northwestern part of Beijing, and the combined turnover of the high-tech industries located at its premises exceeded 5 trillion RMB, almost $800 billion, last year.

The Tel Aviv office is the 11th set up by the Science Park globally, with others having been set up in Washington, Munich, Toronto, London, Finland, Sydney and Tokyo.

Beijing and Tel Aviv have been twin cities for the past 20 years, and in recent years the cooperation between the cities has increased in technology, municipal knowledge exchange, education, culture and art. The new office aims to be a base for Chinese companies seeking to do business in Israel, and for Israeli firms seeking business opportunities in China. The opening of the new office will further strengthen the relations between the cities, a statement said.

“Beijing and Tel Aviv, like China and Israel, are completely different in size, but share many common values: adopting technology and modernization, cherishing education, and striving to always improve our municipal systems,” said Sapir in the statement. “Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai has defined the relationship with Beijing as a prime strategic goal for our foreign relations. In recent years we’ve seen a dramatic increase in the number of delegations and visits from Beijing to Tel Aviv and vice versa. The opening of an economic office of Beijing here in Tel Aviv is an important development.”

Zhongguancun hosts nearly 20,000 high-tech enterprises, including tech giants Lenovo, Baidu, Xiaomi and JD; 40 Chinese universities and colleges, including Peking University and Tsinghua University; and more than 200 national scientific institutions and state-level laboratories.

“The Chinese Government attributes great importance to Zhongguancun science park, as home to innovation and breakthrough technologies,” said Hejun.  “We know how famous Tel Aviv is for its innovation, and openness to new ideas. We have a lot to learn from you.”

The Israeli office will be run by the ShengJing Group, one of China’s largest management consulting and private equity advisory firms.

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