Building High-Quality STAR Market to Better Promote Virtuous Cycle of Science and Technology, Capital and Industry: Speech by SSE President Cai Jianchun at Annual Conference of Financial Street Forum 2022

22 Nov 2022

Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

  Good afternoon! It is my great honor to attend the Annual Conference of "Financial Street Forum" 2022. On behalf of the Shanghai Stock Exchange (SSE), I would like to extend congratulation to you on the successful convening of this conference.

  In the report to the 20th CPC National Congress, General Secretary Xi Jinping profoundly pointed out the core status of innovation in China's overall modernization drive, and called for further implementing the strategy of innovation-driven development, accelerating the achievement of sci-tech self-reliance and self-strengthening at higher levels, and making efforts to promote high-quality development. With the theme of "Promoting the virtuous cycle of science and technology, capital and industry, and serving the construction of a new development pattern", the forum has made in-depth discussions, which is timely amid the current upsurge in studying, publicizing and implementing the spirit of the 20th CPC National Congress.

  As a major reform announced and promoted by General Secretary Xi Jinping himself, the establishment of the STAR Market and the pilot of the registration scheme are important measures for the capital market to implement the national strategy of innovation-driven development. The SSE shoulders the responsibility and mission of building a high-quality STAR Market, facilitating sci-tech self-reliance and self-strengthening at higher levels and better serving the construction of a new development pattern. After unremitting efforts of over three years, the STAR Market has constantly expanded its leading, demonstration and industrial agglomeration effects, along with the steady growth of high-quality enterprises with "key and core technology", the continuous emergence of enterprise-led innovation results, the major progress in key and core technologies, and the gradual stimulation of innovation capital's enthusiasm for "early, small-scale and sci-tech investment". The STAR Market is becoming a hinge facilitating the cycle among science and technology, capital and industry.

  Next, I will share with you the STAR Market's practical exploration in the context of studying and implementing the spirit of the 20th CPC National Congress.

  I. The STAR Market has achieved positive results in supporting a virtuous cycle of science and technology, capital and industry

  Since its establishment, the SSE has resolutely implemented the decisions and arrangements of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council. Under the leadership of China Securities Regulatory Commission, hawse have stuck to the positioning of the STAR Market, supported and encouraged the listing of enterprises with "key and core technology", realized a series of key institutional innovations, promoted the effective connection of capital and sci-tech innovation elements, and played an active role in promoting the deep integration of innovationn, industry, capital and talents.

  First, optimizing the function of resource allocation to promote the formation of innovation capital. We have been adhering to the "key and core technology" positioning of the STAR Market, focusing on serving six strategic emerging industries, namely, new-generation information technology, high-end equipment, biomedicine, new materials, new energy, and energy conservation and environmental protection, and guiding the concentration of market resources in sci-tech innovation. So far, 486 sci-tech innovation enterprises have been listed on the STAR Market, raising more than 730 billion yuan through IPOs, accounting for more than 40% of the total IPO financing in A-share market during the same period, with a combined market value of over 6 trillion yuan. The launch of the STAR Market has opened up all links of "fundraising, investment, management and exit" for venture capital investment (VC) in the sci-tech innovation industry, cleared the blockage and led VC companies to invest in enterprises to be listed. About 97% of the enterprises received investment from VC institutions before going public, with each receiving an average of about 930 million yuan. The healthcare and semiconductor sectors alone received over 500 billion yuan of equity investment, which is significantly higher than before the STAR Market's launch. Besides, the STAR Market's unique price-inquiry transfer system enables the orderly relay between VC and institutional investors, thus supplementing the efficient circulation of innovation capital.

  Second, focusing on serving the "top priorities of the country" to promote the agglomeration of sci-tech innovation industries. The STAR Market has facilitated enterprises' sci-tech innovation to form a new tendency of upgrading from "point breakthrough" to "system capability". It supports a group of leading enterprises that break foreign monopolies and excel in independent innovation in successfully listing and forming industrial clusters, which promotes the integrity, autonomy and security of China's industrial chain. For example, in the integrated circuit industry chain, 80 enterprises such as Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation, National Silicon Industry Group Co., Ltd and Loongson Technology Corporation Limited have been brought together, accounting for about 60% among the A-share companies in the same industry, covering the whole industry chain of upstream chip design, midstream wafer foundry, downstream package and testing, as well as semiconductor equipment and materials. In addition, 107 companies in the biomedicine field went public, making it the world's main listing and gathering place after the United States and Hong Kong. Also, a batch of niche enterprises have been clustered in new energy fields such as photovoltaic and power battery, new materials fields such as carbon fiber and superconducting materials, and high-end equipment fields such as industrial robots and rail transportation equipment. By forming a coordinated development pattern with the upstream and downstream of the industry chain, these enterprises enhance the resilience and stability of the industry chain and supply chain. The demonstration and leading effect and scale effect of the STAR Market in serving the advanced equipment for the country are becoming increasingly evident.

  Third, achieving breakthroughs in core technologies in key fields based on national strategic needs. We have constantly promoted listed companies on the STAR Market to increase their R&D investment, strengthened their indigenous innovation capability, fostered more sci-tech backbone enterprises, and assisted to tackle problems in original and leading technologies. After listing, STAR Market companies still maintained a high level of R&D investment. In the past three years, they reported an annualized growth rate of 29% in R&D expenditures, with an average annual R&D investment intensity of about 13%. In the first three quarters of this year, they spent 68.1 billion yuan on R&D, close to the amount for all of last year. The companies on STAR Market have made major scientific research breakthroughs in a number of emerging fields in the advanced technology and achieved a number of significant outcomes that represent domestic or even international advanced levels. At present, each STAR Market company has an average of 120 invention patents, 84 projects led or participated in by them have won major awards such as the National Science and Technology Progress Award, and over 50% of the companies' products or R&D projects aim at or have realized import substitution. Since this year, nearly 30 leading enterprises have emerged on the STAR Market to speed up the process of domestic production and import substitution, accounting for more than 20% of newly listed companies.

  Fourth, stimulating innovation vitality to promote enterprise-led deep integration of industry, academia and research. Relying on the innovation system of the STAR Market, we promote the formation of a market ecology with reasonable allocation and efficient circulation of various innovation factors such as talents, capital and industry. With value's realization of sci-tech personnel and innovation projects in the capital market, the energy of innovation and entrepreneurship of scientists have been further stimulated. From the perspective of listed companies, more than 60% of the STAR Market companies' founding teams are scientists, engineers and other scientific research talents or industry experts, nearly 40% of the companies' actual controllers are also core technical personnel, and more than 120 companies' actual controllers possess doctoral degrees. Over 30% of STAR Market companies have established industry-academia-research projects with universities and research institutes, and nearly 50% have been involved in key national research projects. After going public, 271 companies have launched 357 equity incentive plans, covering more than 70,000 employees, to "attract, retain and motivate" talents.

  II. Following the spirit of the 20th CPC National Congress to better leverage the STAR Market's function in serving sci-tech innovation

  As a major strategic deployment made by the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core, accelerating the realization of sci-tech self-reliance and self-strengthening at higher levels is based on the current situation, taking a long-term perspective and grasping the overall situation, pointing out the direction and providing the general guideline for the capital market to serve sci-tech innovation. Since this year, faced with the severe and complicated situation and the impact of multiple unexpected headwinds, the STAR Market companies have stuck to focus on their main businesses and seek innovative development. In the first three quarters, they posted a combined operating revenue of 782.2 billion yuan, up by 33% year on year; a net profit attributable to the parent company of 89.1 billion yuan, up by 25% year on year, both significantly ahead of other sectors. This fully demonstrated the vitality and resilience of Chinese enterprises with "key and core technology", and was recognized as a vivid practice of implementing the discourse that "science and technology is the primary productive force; talent is the primary resource; and innovation is the primary driving force".

  In the new journey, the SSE will continue to promote the construction of the STAR Market, support sci-tech innovation enterprises in building up their strength, quality and size, and constantly improve its ability and level in serving sci-tech self-reliance and self-strengthening at higher levels.

  First, further improving system and mechanism arrangements to encourage and support more enterprises with "key and core technology" to be listed. We will adhere to the "three principles" of the registration scheme reform, keep improving the listing review standards, and continuously optimize the screening mechanism for enterprises with "key and core technology". We will deeply promote "open-door review" to further enhance the level of openness, transparency and predictability of reviews. We will take the initiative to integrate into national strategies, strengthen communication and collaboration with other parties, better align with national industrial policies and key supporting areas, and promote the financing development of more enterprises that meet national strategic needs.

  Second, continuously bringing into play the STAR Market's function as a test field for reform to enhance the capability of serving sci-tech innovation enterprises. We will constantly promote the innovation of key systems, further improve the systems related to equity incentives, refinancing and M&A restructuring that adapt to the characteristics of sci-tech innovation enterprises, and optimize the inquiry transfer system. Based on existing experiences, we will keep improving the construction of market-making supporting mechanism of the STAR Market. We will continuously optimize the issuance pricing mechanism to help reduce the financing costs of sci-tech innovation enterprises. There will be active support for the issuance of sci-tech innovation bonds to broaden diversified financing channels in the field of sci-tech innovation.

  Third, constantly optimizing the market ecology construction to create a favorable environment for sci-tech innovation. We will upgrade the comprehensive service system, be more proactive in serving market participants, bring into play the role "Xingqihang" consulting services and the software and hardware functions of dozens of capital market service bases across China, and build consensus on fostering sci-tech innovation enterprises. We will improve the layout of STAR index series and enrich the ETF product system, facilitate retail investors to share the growth dividends of sci-tech innovation enterprises, and guide the concepts of rational investment, value investment and long-term investment. We will fulfill our regulatory responsibilities, be "zero tolerant" for illegal and unlawful behaviors, resolutely combat market manipulation, and effectively maintain market order.

  I appreciate your attention, suggestions and support for the SSE's development and the STAR Market's construction over the years. Guided by the spirit of the 20th CPC National Congress, let's work together to constantly contribute to the building of a modern socialist country in all respects.

  Thank you.