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Executives share views on China's Web future: Ralph Haupter

China Daily Updated: 2015-12-17

Editor's note: The Second World Internet Conference, also known as the Wuzhen Summit, is taking place in Wuzhen, Zhejiang province. China Daily reporters interviewed Ralph Haupter, CEO of Microsoft Corp in China, to learn their views.


Q: What role is the Internet likely to play in China's next Five-Year Plan (2016-20) during the economy's new normal phase of slower, more sustained growth?

A: Over the last decade, we have seen a boom in Internet businesses in China, and we have seen entirely new business sectors and business models emerge because of what this connectivity makes possible. As a catalyst for innovation in China, the Internet and the technologies that depend on it will only grow more important and will be essential to unlocking the innovation potential of its young people. With the Internet as a bridge, many Chinese companies, big and small, will be empowered to go global like never before.

Q: China aims to become a world leader in Internet technology. In what spheres do you think the country is particularly well placed to achieve this goal? What skills that China excels in do you think could be exploited to this end? What is the biggest hurdle that stands in the way of China achieving its goal?

A: Not many countries have an agenda as clear as China's when it comes to leveraging technology. The new growth model and Internet Plus initiative aimed at economic transformation presents an enormous opportunity for IT to be a key enabler of productivity, efficiency, innovation and prosperity across the broadest set of industries and services.

I think China needs to encourage industries to make maximum the use of what they have by deploying hybrid solutions. Microsoft is the only company that offers a world-class enterprise cloud spanning private, public and hybrid solutions, with contractual uptime guarantees and access to advanced data platforms.

Q: Which particular industry do you think is going to be "shaken" by the Internet, or which area do you find the most promising to apply the government action plan of Internet Plus?

A: I think China's manufacturing sector will see the most transformation because of Internet Plus. With the proliferation of IoT devices and sensors that are broadly applicable, there is enormous opportunity for data collection and to derive actionable insight from manufacturing processes.

Q: In China's Internet sector are there any areas (such as cross-border e-commerce, video or gaming) that you expect to do particularly well in the coming years?

A: The next big trend empowered by Internet infrastructure will be about getting insight from data, and particularly around the Internet of Things. It is fairly widely understood that cloud computing can help lower transformation costs for traditional industries and create new windows for regional economic restructuring, but how IoT can help businesses convert data into new opportunities and enable them to change their business models is still a relatively new idea.

Q: If you were to give an Internet startup just one piece of advice, what would it be?

A: I would tell entrepreneurs to take risks and pursue their passions first and foremost. But I would encourage them to really think about the true value they bring to market as they do so. Maintaining China's momentum in this area depends on encouraging the next wave of innovation in emerging sectors.

Cyberspace Administration of China
People's Government of Zhejiang Province
United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs
International Telecommunication Union
World Intellectual Property Organization
Secretariat of World Internet Conference (Preparatory Office)
Cyberspace Administration of Zhejiang Province
Economy and Information Technology Department of Zhejiang Province
Tongxiang Municipal People's Government
National Internet Emergency Center
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