It was during college that Liu Zihong first explored the feasibility of creating a wafer-thin, bendable screen.
In 2012, Liu moved to Shenzhen City in Guangdong Province and set up Royole so that he could develop this concept. The timing was fortunate, as the Guangdong government had begun to support innovation as a way to bolster its economy, offering investment to research and development (R&D) and many preferential policies to lure talent to the province.
At the same time, technology giants like Apple, Samsung and LG were sparing no effort developing organic light-emitting diode (OLED), which promised to solve the quandary of the problems of high-definition display -- the size and portability.
Committed to his own concept, Liu forged ahead developing his idea. Within two years, Royole had created AMOLED display. At just 0.01 mm thick, it is the thinnest HiDef display ever made in the world. While its unique flexibility means that it has the potential to be used in electronic devices, automobiles, domestic appliances and even clothes.
This is a product that will revolutionize the electronics world, Liu believed.
"With AMOLED display, you can fold an iPad into [the size of an] iPhone," Liu told First Business Daily in November.
The invention has made Liu one to watch in the industry. He has been named one of the best entrepreneurs in China and is one of the top ten talented professionals in Shenzhen. Last year he was even invited to show his product to Premier Li Keqiang, a vocal champion of innovation, according to First Business Daily.
Liu partly attributes his success to government support.
"Shenzhen is like China's 'Silicon Valley,'" Liu said. "The environment is open and tolerant, and you can find almost anything you want for your career."
As the government continues to support R&D, it is no better time than now for innovators like Liu.
Guangdong Bureau of Statistics on Thursday announced that the government will spend more than 3.5 percent of its GDP on R&D, promising to keep the economic contribution of science and technology at no less than 70 percent.
"The government is helping to make market access easier for innovative products," Liu said.
China is facing an economic slowdown, with the economy in 2015 experiencing the slowest annual expansion in a quarter of a century.
With the possibility of a downturn, the Guangdong government is pursuing an innovation-driven economy.
The provincial government had increased R&D investment to 2.5 percent out of its GDP in 2015 from 1.76 percent in 2010.
"There is a dynamic mix of innovative talent in Guangdong these days thanks to preferential policies from the government," said Guo Wanda, an official with the China Development Institute.
According to Guangdong government, the province has 2.73 million people with high-end expertise, up 67.5 percent from 2010.
The push for innovation has generated good results, with the local economy projected to grow between 7 percent to 7.5 percent in 2016, the provincial bureau of statistics announced on Thursday. Its GDP expanded 8 percent in 2015.
Guangdong government plans to channel 900 billion yuan (137 billion U.S. dollars) to companies to help them "upgrade and intelligentize equipment" in the next three years.
Guo Wanda, however, cautioned against innovation "for the sake of being innovative."
"Innovation is not just about bringing out new technology," Guo said. "It's essentially about improving product quality."