Why Hangzhou? The ques­tion might have en­tered the minds of many peo­ple since Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping an­nounced at last year’s G20 in Turkey that Hangzhou will host the 2016 Lead­ers Sum­mit.

“The Hangzhou model, with its em­pha­sis on ter­tiary in­dus­try, es­pe­cially fast­grow­ing in­dus­tries in­clud­ing in­ter­net fi­nanc­ing, e-com­merce and big data, stands for a Chi­nese path of de­vel­op­ment,” Yan Ji­uyuan, a re­searcher at Trig­ger Trend Re­search Cen­ter, a Guangzhou-based think tank, wrote in an anal­y­sis widely spread on the in­ter­net.

“The em­bed­ding and growth of the in­ter­net helped the city to re­al­ize its achieve­ment, turn­ing it from a sec­ond­c­ity fa­mous for tourism to a cen­tral city with great im­pact.”

At present, more than onethird of the China’s e-com­merce web­sites are based in Hangzhou, pi­o­neered by the in­dus­try’s world leader, Alibaba.

De­spite down­ward pres­sure on the do­mes­tic econ­omy, Hangzhou’s GDP in­creased by 10.8 per­cent in the first half of this year, rank­ing first among 26 ma­jor Chi­nese cities, ac­cord­ing to the Hangzhou gov­ern­ment. The in­for­ma­tion econ­omy ac­counted for 23.8 per­cent of to­tal GDP growth.

Hangzhou has also be­come the world’s most con­ve­nient city for mo­bile pay­ment. More than 95 per­cent of lo­cal stores, 98 per­cent of taxis and 50 per­cent of restau­rants ac­cept mo­bile pay­ment, while a large num­ber of veg­etable mar­ket ven­dors can also be paid by phone.

On top of this, Hangzhou, Bei­jing and Shen­zhen have been rec­og­nized as the three cen­ters of China’s busi­nessstart­ing tide. And Hangzhou also ranked first in terms of its lat­est growth rate.

Xi said in Turkey that the theme of the 2016 sum­mit will be “To­ward an In­no­va­tive, In­vig­o­rated, In­ter­con­nected and In­clu­sive World Econ­omy”.

“In­no­va­tion will be high­lighted at the sum­mit, as the whole planet is seek­ing a new growth model,” said Huang Wei, chief of global gov­er­nance stud­ies with the Chi­nese Academy of So­cial Sciences.

Shen Yinchu, an aca­demic at the Chi­nese Academy of En­gi­neer­ing, said Hangzhou is a hot spot of tech­nol­ogy de­vel­op­ment and per­son­nel train­ing.

“Its great con­tri­bu­tion to the coun­try and the whole world has been widely rec­og­nized.”

ChenFengy­ing, a re­searcher on the global econ­omy at the Chi­nese Academy of So­cial Sciences, saidHangzhou is the best ex­am­ple of a city link­ing China’s past, present and fu­ture.

“We al­l­knowabout the city’s an­cient his­tory. And at present, Hangzhou is a place where many in­dus­tries have made a suc­cess­ful trans­for­ma­tion,” she said.

She cited Wa­haha, the coun­try’s big­gest bev­er­age en­ter­prise, which has come to the fore­front of in­tel­li­gent man­u­fac­tur­ing and plans to en­ter in­dus­tries in­clud­ing bi­o­log­i­cal en­gi­neer­ing, bac­te­rial strain, en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion and en­ergy sav­ing motors.

Chen also cites the ex­am­ple of is China’s big­gest auto parts maker, the Wanx­i­ang Group, which now eyes clean en­ergy in the global mar­ket.

“There are­many rea­sons for the cen­tral gov­ern­ment to pick Hangzhou. But I think the key rea­son is that Hangzhou can present the fu­ture of China,” Chen said.

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