China's spending on research and development (R&D) grew an annual 23 percent in 2011 to 868.7 billion yuan $139 billion), the National Bureau of Statistics said on Thursday.

That was equivalent to 1.84 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), up from 1.76 percent in 2010, the bureau said in a report on its website: www.stats.gov.cn

Chinese industries spent 599.4 billion yuan on R&D in 2011. The spending was led by makers of computers, electronics and telecommunications equipment, which poured 94.1 billion yuan Into R&D, followed by chemicals producers' outlay of 46.9 billion.

Most research and development spending came from rich provinces and cities such as Guangdong, Jiangsu and Beijing, according to the bureau.

Government spending on science and technology rose to 490.3 billion yuan in 2011, up 19.2 percent from a year earlier.

China has pledged to boost its R&D as it moves toward higher skilled manufacturing and help local companies move up the global value chain.

China plans to boost its research and development spending as a share of GDP to 2.2 percent by 2015.

($1 = 6.2480 Chinese yuan)

(Reporting By China Economics Team)