China’s research and development investment increased by 11.6% year on year to 1.97 trillion yuan (US$ 293.6 billion) in 2018, accounting for 2.18% of the gross domestic product, official data shows.

It’s the fourth consecutive year that R&D costs in China accounted for over 2% of GDP, according to a research report published by Dalian University of Technology.

China realized 19.59% average annualized growth in R&D investment after the country announced its innovation-driven development strategy, the report said.

R&D investment by enterprises increased by 40 times to 1.2 trillion yuan from 1995 to 2016, while government R&D funds rose 12.8 times to about 320 billion yuan.

The research highlighted Huawei as a representative of high R&D investment. In 2016, Huawei spent more than 82 billion yuan in R&D that year, accounting for 7% of all Chinese enterprises’ R&D investment, it said.

In addition, the China National Petroleum Corporation tops all mainland-listed firm’s R&D investment with 17.5 billion yuan, and Alibaba spent the most (17 billion yuan) among overseas listed companies.

The research said while the companies are invest heavily in R&D, more efforts may be put on basic research and applied research.