China's Chengdu aiming to be world's next Silicon Valley
CHENGDU, China (AFP) - Entrepreneurs in China's southwest are dreaming of turning the city of Chengdu into the world's next Silicon Valley as the government encourages more investment outside the booming coastal regions.
Small start-ups as well as big-name western companies have flocked to the metropolis of 14 million people, attracted by cheap labour costs and favourable government investment policies and hoping to tap into China's rapidly expanding consumer market.
And the Silicon Valley dream is becoming reality as the city, already a hi-tech manufacturing hub, seeks increasingly to become a magnet for software development and innovation.
Between one-third to one-half of the iPads sold worldwide are assembled in Chengdu, while computer giant Intel makes up to half of its chips in the city.