Summit focuses on development of China's digital economy

Updated 2018-04-22 22:19:08 Xinhua

The first Digital China Summit opened in Fuzhou, capital of east China's Fujian Province, on Sunday, as an extra push for the boom in digital development.

About 800 people, including officials, representatives of industrial organizations and experts, are attending the summit, which will run for three days until April 24.

Chinese President Xi Jinping called for fostering new driving forces through informatization, to promote new development and make new achievements.

Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, made the remarks in a congratulatory letter sent to the summit.

Digitalization, networking and the application of intelligent technologies, which have been greatly developed, are playing more and more important roles in promoting social and economic development, modernizing China's governance system and capacity, and meeting the people's ever-growing needs for a better life, he said in the letter.

Xi noted that the summit will show China's latest achievements in developing e-governance and the digital economy.

It will also enable people to exchange experience and perspectives about building a digital China, and help further build consensus, he said.

The summit will stimulate the enthusiasm, initiative and creativity of all sectors of society to build a digital China, as well as make informatization bring more benefits to the society and the people, Xi said.

Several well-known entrepreneurs made speeches at the summit. Tencent chairman Pony Ma said that Chinese enterprises need to make breakthroughs in core technology and this need is becoming more urgent.

Only with competitive core technology can Chinese companies have a chance to have equal dialogue with global giants.

He said that more people must stride over digital divide, fully using digital technology to solve unbalanced and inadequate development.

Jack Ma, founder and chairman of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group, said in a speech that China needs a deeper understanding of Internet development in this critical period of the information revolution.

He said that large enterprises should shoulder greater responsibilities and speed up to make breakthroughs in core technology that will benefit society.

Ma also said that a law on the digital economy is urgently needed to guide the development of Internet companies in China.

The summit is jointly held by the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC), the National Development and Reform Commission, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, and the Fujian provincial government.

"The digital economy has been gradually shaping up. We will soon enter the golden period of economic development driven by information technology," said Mei Hong, vice president of Beijing Institute of Technology.

China's digital economy totaled 27.2 trillion yuan (4.3 trillion U.S. dollars) in 2017, accounting for 32.9 percent of national GDP, according to CAC deputy head Yang Xiaowei. Its 20.3-percent growth substantially outpaced the overall economy, which grew 6.9 percent in 2017.

"China is already more digitalized than many observers appreciate and has the potential to set the world's digital frontier in coming decades," the McKinsey Global Institute said in a recent report titled "China's digital economy: A leading global force."

China is the world's largest e-commerce market, accounting for more than 40 percent of the value of worldwide transactions, up from less than one percent a decade ago. In terms of mobile payments, China has a transaction value 11 times that of the United States, according to the report.

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