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Digital China to drive economic transformation, upgrading

PAN YUEFEI | 2018-05-09
(Chinese Social Sciences Today)

The first Digital China Summit was held in Fuzhou, capital of China’s Fujian Province in late April. (SZZG.GOV.CN)  


 

China reached the major targets for the development of informationization in the 13th Five-Year Plan, and progress on major tasks and key projects has met expectations, according to the Report on Digital China Construction and Development 2017 released by the Cyberspace Administration of China at the first Digital China Summit in Fuzhou, capital of China’s Fujian Province in late April.


China’s economy has entered a new era of growth that aspires to  high quality, digitization and zero pollution, said Guo Weidong, a professor from the College of Business Administration at the Capital University of Economics and Business. In order to achieve this grand goal, construction of a digital China needs to speed up, which will promote the transformation and upgrade of the traditional real economy. The new pattern of economic development represented by digital economy has become a new dynamic, model and structure for China’s economic growth.


“Building a digital China is an important way to promote the deep integration of the internet, big data, artificial intelligence and the real economy. It also provides basic support for China’s economy to achieve high-quality development,” said Cai Yuezhou, a research fellow at the Institute of Quantitative and Technical Economics at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. Digital technology is a typical general-purpose technology that can touch all aspects of the economy and society. The fundamental goal of building a digital China is to promote this extensive reach. This process will inevitably accelerate the deep integration of the real economy and a new generation of information technology represented by the internet, big data, artificial intelligence and so on, Cai said.


“China has already established the necessary conditions for the construction of a digital country,” said Chen Jin, a professor from the School of Information Technology and Management at the University of International Business and Economics. The information industry has become a leading industry in China, and the internet is becoming increasingly popular. E-commerce, financial technology, big data and cloud computing industries are flourishing. Sharing economy is growing rapidly. All of these have provided good basic conditions for China to build a digital country, Chen said.


Guo said China has unique advantages to accelerate informationization and the construction of a digital country. First of all, it has market advantages. China is already the world’s second-largest economy, with the greatest market potential. This huge market demand and development impetus are accelerating the strategy of building a digital China. Moreover, there has been government support. China has carried out a lot of work to accelerate the construction of a digital China, including actively implementing the “Internet Plus” initiative, the “Broadband China” strategy and the national big data strategy. An additional series of strategic actions and major projects will be launched. Quantum communications and high-performance computing will achieve major breakthroughs, and the application and R&D of 5G will be facilitated. With the introduction of follow-up policies and the application of new technologies, the development of China’s digital economy is entering the fast lane.


China also has talent advantages, Guo said. China is a country with vast human resources. Every year, a large number of college graduates enter the fields of computer science and information technology, which provides talent and intellectual support for the construction of a digital China.
 

Chen said that a digital China can be promoted from several aspects. First, it is necessary to strengthen the construction of digital infrastructure and provide the nation with better and faster digital bandwidth and cloud computing service capabilities. In addition, China needs to and implement digital economic revitalization plans, and a digital economic development strategy nationwide, facilitating digital integration and development plans in agriculture, industry and service industries.


Chen also suggested supporting the industrialization of new technology applications, such as e-commerce, financial technology, big data and cloud computing to form pillar industries of a leading digital economy. Moreover, it is necessary to implement digital education and training programs in China, and to establish a basic curriculum of digital economics and its application in higher education institutions and various training institutions, realizing the rapid training of digital talent, Chen said.

 

(edited by JIANG HONG)