In DepthFunding

China narrows U.S. lead in R&D spending

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  19 Oct 2018:
Vol. 362, Issue 6412, pp. 276
DOI: 10.1126/science.362.6412.276

You are currently viewing the summary.

View Full Text

Log in to view the full text

Log in through your institution

Log in through your institution


Already the world's second biggest R&D spender behind the United States, China is steadily narrowing the gap, according to a government report released last week. It shows that the total R&D outlay by government and industry rose 12.3% last year to a record 1.76 trillion yuan ($254 billion). Whereas China spent about 34% as much as the United States in 2012, the proportion is now closer to 45%, figures from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and U.S. agencies show. In purchasing power, China's 2016 spending was equivalent to 88% of U.S. spending, according to OECD. But basic research funding appears to be lagging, at just 5.5% of the total—one reason observers say that China still is far from matching the research capabilities of developed countries.