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| 2016-10-12 | Hits:
(Chinese Social Sciences Today)


UN report: China became the largest Internet market

China is the world’s largest Internet market, with an estimated 721 million Internet users, according to the State of Broadband 2016 released on Sept. 15 in Geneva by the Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development jointly established by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and UNESCO. The world’s offline population is concentrated in six populous countries—India, China, Indonesia, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nigeria—accounting for 55 percent of the global total. The report suggests that even as Internet access for households in developed countries approaches saturation, Internet connectivity is still insufficient to narrow the gap between the developed and emerging economies in such aspects as education and health care. A large number of economic indicators show that affordable access to the Internet is crucial to economic development, social inclusiveness and environmental protection, said Zhao Houlin, the secretary-general of the ITU.



Nation’s trade in services increases by 25 percent

China’s trade in services continues to expand rapidly, and the total imports and exports have achieved 25 percent year-on-year growth, totaling about 3 trillion yuan ($450 billion) in the first seven months of 2016, according to the recent information released at the routine press conference of the Ministry of Commerce of China held on Sept. 20. Service exports totaled 1 trillion yuan, increasing by about 11 percent year on year, and service imports rose around 34 percent. Service trade accounted for 18 percent of the country’s total imports and exports during the January-July period. The structure of exported services continues to trend toward optimization, and more services with higher added value were created during that time. Exports of telecommunications, computing and information services grew by about 21 percent during the first seven months.


Matthew Effects undermine brands of some cities
Although more efforts were made to strengthen it in 2015, city publicity in China was affected by the Matthew Effects, or accumulated advantage, according to the China City Marketing Development Report 2016 released by the National Academy of Economic Strategy at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences on Sept. 14 in Beijing. Evaluated by the City Brand Development Index, which includes five subindexes regarding livability, culture, investment, tourism and brand communication, Beijing ranked first, followed by Shanghai and Tianjin, according to the report. Affected by the Matthew Effects in city development, city brand development in China faces great gap between developed cities and underdeveloped cities, and regional disparities are also obvious. The report also suggests the city brand development faces such problems as homogeneity, lack of coordination with city development strategy and the neglect of livability.

Scholars: Livability needed for city development

Improving city management to better serve residents is the basic method for addressing urban problems, said Xing Dongmei, a professor of philosophy from the School of Politics and Public Administration at Soochow University at the Forum on China City Research held on Sept. 17 in Shanghai. An ideal city should be vigorous, distinctive and livable, while also have sufficient connectivity and optimized management, Xing said. Chen Zhong, a research fellow from the Institute of Philosophy at the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, said research on urbanization should pay more attention to the relationship between city and culture with historical and trans-disciplinary methods. The history of modern civilization was, to some extent, the history of cities. Scholars and leaders should not just see it as a concept, but also truly take into consideration the general picture of all the aspects of social life, Chen said.