June 24--Wuhan, capital of central China's Hubei Province, now boasts more than 30 enterprises engaging in laser product research, development, and production, and has become the country's largest industrial base for lasers.
The latest report by the Hubei Provincial Laser Society indicates that the city now produces more than 40 laser products in five categories. The city's output value of photo-electronics, laser, and relevant industries reached 3 billion yuan (US$362.5 million) in 2004, and the sales volume of its laser products accounted for 50 percent of the country's total.
It has been reported that of the country's five laser enterprises each with an annual sales of more than 100 million yuan, three are located in Wuhan, known as China's "photo-electronics valley." The three laser firms in the city are capable of producing large-power lasers, laser processing and welding equipment, and laser-based medical equipment.
Incomplete statistics from the Hubei Provincial Laser Society show that Wuhan has registered more than 80 patents and specialty technologies related to laser research and development in recent years. A laser industrial chain ranging from raw materials, parts, and components to system integration and applications has been taking shape in the city.
Wuhan is now building a production base for laser punching devices and high-power lasers, the largest of its kind in Asia. Upon completion of the project, the production base would annually produce 60 sets of punching equipmment and 150 sets of lasers with an annual output value of 350 million yuan.
This article is reprinted from AsiaTimes (www.atimes.com).