China’s Digital Economy Ranks Second Worldwide, Fast-tracking Digital China Building

Source:Organizing_Committee    |      Date:2021-04-29

  On April 25, the 4th Digital China Summit themed “A New Growth Driver Empowered by Data, A New Journey Toward Digital China” opened in Fuzhou, Fujian Province. Huang Kunming, a member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and head of the Publicity Department of the CPC Central Committee, attended the opening ceremony and delivered a keynote speech. He stressed the need to implement Secretary General Xi Jinping’s guidance on the building of a network power, strive for self-reliance and innovation-driven development, and advance the building of a digital China up to high standard, thereby lending new momentum to China’s march toward a new journey.


  (Photo credit: Economic Information Daily)

  Huang pointed out that over the past century, the CPC had always represented the developmental trend of China’s advanced productive forces, kept pace with the times and stood at the forefront of the times. Since the 18th CPC National Congress, China’s digital development capabilities have been continuously strengthened, as evidenced by the growing scale of the digital economy, the accelerated popularization of IT-based public services, and the improvement of the digital governance pattern. These have consolidated the foundation for building a digital China, which will enjoy broad prospects.

  Huang emphasized that at a new starting point toward a new journey, we should keep to the direction, main objectives and key tasks of the digital China initiative, pursue high-quality development and accelerate the development of digital and intelligent technology to better serve the causes of the Party and the nation. We should seek self-reliance in technology, promote opening-up and innovation, and unleash the vitality of innovation elements and resources. We should push forward new infrastructure development, promote deep integration of the digital economy and the real economy, and build an enabling digital ecosystem. In addition, we should advance the development of smart city and digital countryside and provide more inclusive, convenient, efficient and high-quality digital services, so that people can share more benefits of information technology.

  At the main forum of the summit, the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) released the Digital China Development Report 2020. Noting the improved IT innovation ability and strong development momentum of the digital economy in China, Sheng Ronghua, deputy head of the CAC, said that China rose from the 29th place in 2015 to 14th in 2020 on the Global Innovation Index ranking and had become the biggest source of applications for international patents in the world. China ranks second in terms of gross output of the digital economy, with the value added to the core capacity of the digital economy accounting for 7.8% of GDP.


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  The 2020 China International Fair for Trade in Services (CIFTIS), themed “Global Services, Shared Prosperity”, was held in Beijing from September 4 to 9, 2020. In his speech delivered at the Global Trade in Services Summit of CIFTIS 2020, President Xi Jinping brought forward three thoughts and suggestions. Among them, he underscored the need to adapt to the trend towards digital-driven, Internet-based and smart growth, jointly eliminate the “digital divide”, and advance digitalization of trade in services. He said that China will work with other countries to enhance macro policy coordination, accelerate international cooperation in the digital sector, step up intellectual property protection, and facilitate the vibrant growth of the digital economy and sharing economy. Such efforts will generate renewed dynamism for the world economy.


  At the 2020 Summit Forum on Trends and Latest Developments of Digital Trade held during the Fair, Xiao Yaqing, Secretary of the Party Leadership Group and Minister of the Industry and Information Technology, addressed that at present, data has become an important factor of production and a new engine for transforming the quality, efficiency and driving force of economic development. Data flow will drive the flow of technology, capital and talents, and optimize resource allocation, and increase total factor productivity, which will exert a profound impact on economic development, social progress, improvement of people’s livelihood and national governance.


  (Photo credit: China Economic Weekly)

  As noted by Huai Jinpeng, Secretary of the Party Leadership Group, Executive Vice Chairman and First Secretary of the Secretariat of China Association for Science and Technology, digital trade is a symbol of the digital era, a mark of technological empowerment, and represents the direction of future trade development. Describing global trust and cooperation as the cornerstone of digital trade, he called for joined efforts to build a digital governance system, promote coordination of digital trade rules at multilateral and regional levels, and strengthen organizational and institutional innovation in such fields as privacy protection, data security, data right confirmation, digital taxation and data-based rule of law so as to share the fruits of digital trade.

  Ji Lin, Chairman and Secretary of the Party Leadership Group of Beijing Municipal Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), stated that as a national science and technology innovation center, in recent years, Beijing has taken the development of digital economy and digital trade as a strategic choice to promote the city’s high-quality development, and actively cultivated new strengths for participating in international cooperation and competition under the new situation.

  Ji said that in the future, Beijing would accelerate the development of demonstration zones for high-quality digital trade and build a digital trade pilot zones based on the National Digital Service Export Base of Zhongguancun Software Park, the Jinzhan International Cooperation Service Zone, and the China (Hebei) Pilot Free Trade Zone Daxing Airport Area. It will fully promote the application of blockchain, artificial intelligence and big data technologies to enable production and trading, and cultivate a number of leading and unicorn enterprises in digital economy with global influence and market leadership, so as to build a sustained and stable, open and prosperous global digital trading system.