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Stress on digital economy key to pursuing high-quality development

China Daily Updated: 2022-02-22


A visitor (right) tries metaverse games at the 2021 International Digital Technology Exhibition and Tianyi Intelligent Ecological Expo in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, on Nov 11. [Photo by Li Zhihao/For China Daily]

China's intensified efforts to facilitate the development of the digital economy demonstrate its resolve to pursue high-quality and innovation-driven growth, boost rural revitalization and achieve common prosperity, leading technology tycoons and industry experts said.

They noted the digital economy has become a primary force driving the country's economic growth, and will play a bigger role in accelerating the digital transformation and upgrading of traditional industries.

Advancing sound digital economy development is expected to be a hot topic during the upcoming two sessions. Robin Li, co-founder and CEO of Chinese tech giant Baidu Inc said there are eight key technologies that will affect the development of the digital economy.

They are autonomous driving vehicles, machine translation, biological computing, deep learning frameworks, digital city operations, knowledge management, artificial intelligence-powered chips and personal intelligent assistants.

Li, who is also a member of the 13th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, said these eight key technologies will undergo a transformation from quantitative change to qualitative change in the next 10 years.

"Once a qualitative change occurs, these technologies will have a profound impact on the digital economy and even broader social and cultural fields," Li said.

The digital economy is currently booming across the globe. In China, new industries and forms of business buoyed by innovative digital technologies like big data, cloud computing and artificial intelligence are finding a wide range of applications across various industries and integrating with the real economy.

China's digital economy was worth nearly $5.4 trillion in 2020, up 9.6 percent year-on-year, ranking second in the world, according to a white paper released by the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology, a government think tank.

Pony Ma, chairman and CEO of Tencent Holdings Ltd, highlighted the importance of the digital economy and paid attention to new problems along with the development of the platform-based economy. He called for actively exploring an innovative supervision method.

Ma, who is a deputy to the 13th National People's Congress, said the development of digital agriculture and the promotion of agricultural intelligence and modernization are fundamental measures needed to consolidate the results of poverty alleviation and promote rural vitalization.

In his suggestions submitted to last year's annual two sessions, Ma suggested guiding internet technology and smart agriculture to "resonate at the same frequency" and speed up the digitalization of agricultural production.

The State Council has rolled out a plan to facilitate the development of the digital economy during the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25) period. The country aims to raise the proportion of the added value of core digital economy industries in its GDP to 10 percent in 2025, up from 7.8 percent in 2020, the plan said.

"Facilitating the growth of the digital economy is of vital importance to cultivate new driving forces, boost high-quality and innovation-driven development and effectively address the unbalanced development in society," said Long Haibo, a senior researcher at the Development Research Center of the State Council.

Long said the digital economy is playing an increasingly important role in bridging the digital divide in rural areas, empowering healthcare, education industry, social public service and governance, as well as promoting the rural-urban economic integration and rural revitalization.

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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