863 Program

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For the manned space program, see Project 863
The Loongson 2F MIPS64 CPU, part of China's 863 program

The 863 program (Chinese: 863计划) or State High-Tech Development Plan (Chinese: 国家高技术研究发展计划) is a program funded and administered by the government of the People's Republic of China intended to stimulate the development of advanced technologies in a wide range of fields for the purpose of rendering China independent of financial obligations for foreign technologies.[1]

Among the products known to have resulted from the 863 program are the Loongson computer processor family (originally named Godson), the Tianhe supercomputers and the Shenzhou spacecraft.


Named after its date of establishment (March 1986, 86/3 by the Chinese date format), the 863 Program was proposed in a letter to the Chinese government by engineers Wang Ganchang, Wang Daheng, Yang Jiaxi, and Chen Fangyun and endorsed by Deng Xiaoping.[2] After its implementation during the Seventh Five-Year Plan, the program continued to operate through the two five-year plans that followed, with state financing of around 11 billion RMB and an output of around 2000 patents (national and international).[3]

Under the plan, about US $200 billion was to be spent on information and communication technologies, of which US $150 billion was earmarked for telecommunications. In 1996 the key technological field of Marine Technology was added. The implementation took place during the Seventh Five-Year Plan and an update has been made during the period of the Tenth, which lasted from 2001 to 2005.

In 2001, under the Tenth Five-Year Plan, the program was reevaluated in consultation with foreign experts. The result was a widened focus to strengthen the competitiveness of China in the global economy.[4] The evaluation practice has been included into the program as a project management system.[5]

In a 2011 court case, Chinese-born scientist Huang Kexue was found guilty of stealing commercial secrets from US-based corporations and passing at least some of this information to the 863 program.[6]


The program initially focused on seven key technological fields:[7]

Since 1986, two more fields have been brought under the umbrella of the program:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Wu, Hequan (2002-08-06), "The progress of communication technology subject of hi-tech research development plan of China", International Conference on Communication Technology Proceedings, 2000 (Beijing) 1: 3–4, doi:10.1109/ICCT.2000.889157, ISBN 0-7803-6394-9 
  2. ^ Feigenbaum, Evan A. (2003), China's Techno-warriors: National Security and Strategic Competition from the Nuclear to the Information Age, Stanford, California: Stanford University Press, p. 141, ISBN 978-0-8047-4601-4, OCLC 49415750 
  3. ^ Science & Technology Newsletter No.380: 863 Program Creates RMB 56 Billion Ministry of Science & Technology of the People's Republic of China (MOST) September, 30th 2004
  4. ^ "National High-tech R&D Program (863 Program)". Ministry of Science and Technology of the People's Republic of China. Retrieved 1 April 2015. : 1. Orientation and Objectives, 2. Major Tasks.
  5. ^ "National High-tech R&D Program (863 Program)". Ministry of Science and Technology of the People's Republic of China. Retrieved 1 April 2015. : 4. Organization and Management, 2) Project Management.
  6. ^ BBC News Chinese scientist Huang Kexue jailed for trade theft December, 22nd 2011
  7. ^ Ke Yan (Ke, Yan), Science and Technology in China, German Edition (Beijing 2005), p.109 Passages readable online

External links[edit]