Internet innovation: Creating better and secure online world
President Xi Jinping calls for increased international cooperation in cyberspace governance in a speech via video link at the opening ceremony of the third annual World Internet Conference in Wuzhen, Zhejiang province, on Wednesday.[Photo by Feng Yongbin/chinadaily.com.cn]
The third World Internet Conference (WIC) in Wuzhen, Zhejiang province, has attracted government officials, business leaders and academics to discuss the future of the digital world and commerce.
With "internet" being the keyword at the forum, President Xi Jinping also delivered a speech via video, calling for China to "work with the international community to ensure the common well-being of humanity, uphold cyber sovereignty, promote more fair and equitable global Internet governance and bring about an open, inclusive and secure cyberspace that features equality, mutual respect, innovation and orderly development".
The beautiful water town of Wuzhen, which is also called "Eastern Venice", has already hosted two world internet conferences. With China receiving so much attention overseas and global internet companies trying to enter China, it is only fitting that the conference is held here, in the land of more than 600 million online users and e-commerce that is growing at a head-spinning pace. Moreover, Zhejiang province is home to the internet giant Alibaba, which is at the forefront of the industry.
The conference was attended by leaders of Chinese and foreign online conglomerates such as Alibaba's Jack Ma, Baidu's Robin Li, LinkedIn's Reid Hoffman, Qualcomm's Derek Aberle and others who discussed ways to govern cyberspace better.
Moreover, one of the highlights of the conference was the expo, where the tech companies showcased their latest products. For example, Baidu presented its innovative driverless car. One of the interesting inventions was "EyeVerify", which makes shopping easier. You can relieve your pocket out of cash with just a blink of an eye! That would come quite handy for the online shoppers before and during the Singles Day on Nov. 11.
People are less worried about sharing their private photos, hold their savings and make purchases on the online platforms. In China, it is especially distinguished. The experience of a German expat in Hangzhou who went a whole day without cash and used WeChat money to pay for everything, including transport fare, is a good example.
At the same time, that's where the vulnerability lies. Last year's World Internet Forum was dedicated to cyberspace security issues and how to solve them. This year as well, the speakers called for the law-regulated internet space.
It is clear that we need more privacy protection rules, as new advances bring new problems. And as this year's topic is centered on innovation, that's what the authorities should care about.
There is hope, though, that by uniting efforts the companies will be able to find a way to its consumers' hearts with the innovative ideas, and conferences, like the one being held in Wuzhen for the third year in a row, will contribute to the world safety in the internet era as well as offer solutions how to bring innovative ideas into global practice.
Anastasia Sukhoretskaya is a senior blogger with China daily
The opinions expressed here are those of the writer and don't represent views of China Daily website.