Workers in the Foxconn factory in Shenzhen, China.

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China’s spending on research and development climbed 10.3% to 2.44 trillion Chinese yuan ($378 billion) in 2020, according to the nation’s National Bureau of Statistics.

The bureau said in a press release on Sunday that R&D spend, which looks to develop new services or products, accounted for 2.4% of China’s gross domestic product.

It’s a new record for China but it’s also the slowest incremental growth in five years and down from a 12.5% rise in 2019.

The bureau said that by the end of 2020, China had 522 “national key laboratories” and 350 “national engineering research centers” in operation.

It added that some 457,000 projects were funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China last year and 3.6 million patents were granted, up from 40% on 2019.

By contrast, the U.S. was planning to spend around $134 billion on R&D in 2020, according to a report from the Federation of American Scientists last March. Official R&D spending figures are yet to be released by the U.S.

Home to significantly less people, the U.K. spent £11.4 billion ($15.9 billion) on R&D in 2020, but it’s planning to more than double spending to £22 billion by 2024 or 2025.

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