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Digital economy starts a new engine of development in China

(People's Daily Online)    10:41, October 30, 2020

Open the mobile shopping software, you can browse and buy your favorite goods anytime and anywhere; on mobile social software, you can interact with your family via video across thousands of miles; if you can work overtime at night and have no time to cook, you can simply order food delivery using the mobile phone...

People visit a display center of the National Big Data Comprehensive Pilot Area in southwest China's Guizhou Province, May 22, 2019. (Xinhua/Ou Dongqu)

This is the daily life of millions of Chinese people. In the current era, with the rapid development of information technology and digital economy, the level of digital development has become one of the important symbols to measure the degree of modernization and comprehensive strength of a country.

The digital transformation of the world economy is the trend of the times. In today's China, digitization is changing the mode of economic development, with new business types and models continuing to emerge.

According to statistics, in 2019 the annual transaction volume of e-commerce exceeded 4.4 trillion yuan (about 0.65 trillion dollars), of which the online retail sales of agricultural products reached 397.5 billion yuan, an increase of 27 percent over the same period last year.

Photo taken on Oct. 19, 2019 shows a 5G-powered delivery robot in service, by which diners can order via the tablet, at a restaurant of Tong'an Hotel in Wuzhen, east China's Zhejiang Province. (Xinhua/Zhang Xiaoyu)

"In the first half of this year, online retail sales increased by 7.3 percent compared with the same period last year, and the digitization of the entire consumer side is still accelerating." Xi Dan, senior vice president of Tencent, shared the new changes in the digital economy on the consumer side.

In 2019, the added value of China's digital economy reached 35.8 trillion yuan, equivalent to 36.2 percent of GDP. The innovation transformation with digital technology as the core is injecting more new connotations into China's development and promoting the high-quality development of China's economy.

"We believe that the new label of China's digital economy in the next 10 years should be called intelligent economy, and all fields, industries and directions should develop towards intelligence," said Robin Li, the co-founder, chairman and chief executive officer of Baidu.

At the third Digital China Summit, digital government affairs have become a hot topic discussed by experts and scholars. In a speech at the summit on the modernization of urban governance in the digital age, Liu Xianxiang, vice chairman of the Fujian Provincial Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, said that digital cities are developing rapidly in China, and the construction of digital China is showing vitality.

Take Wuhan for example, the former epicenter of the epidemic in central China's Hunan province, during the epidemic prevention and control period, in the big data Center of Wuhan Public Security Bureau, huge amounts of data from hospitals, communities, public security, and civil affairs were collected on the big screen of the center.

In addition, health codes have also become an effective means in the fight against the epidemic, with showing your health code almost becoming the most familiar move for Chinese people in 2020.

Garbage sorting can also be digitized. According to new functions of a garbage sorting box, as long as the QR code is scanned, the garbage will automatically open, and intelligent weighing, whole process tracking of recycled materials and data management using a recycling network system can be realized.

Traditional industries can also be empowered using digital technology. "Picking, stir-frying, kneading, drying... through the intelligent agricultural Internet of things platform, we can input and collect the whole process of tea production data," said a staff member of a tea company in southeast China's Fujian province.

With the support of science and technology, when users enter an Internet hospital, consultation becomes more convenient than before. Through a mobile phone, patients can have a face-to-face video consultation with a doctor, greatly reducing the burden of patients' travel and the long-standing problems such as "waiting in a line for a long time.”

As of June 2020, the number of Chinese Internet users has exceeded 940 million, ranking first in the world, which means that China has the largest digital technology application market in the world and is a veritable network power.

How can China continue to release digital vitality in the future?

An improved information infrastructure provides more possibilities for the digital transformation of China's industry, not only in terms of the various digital applications in life, but also when it comes to the digital transformation of traditional industries.

"In the near future, the new infrastructure can stabilize the economy and growth; in the long run, the new infrastructure can stimulate more new demand and create more new business types, releasing more power and potential to promote economic upgrading, and lay a solid foundation for the digital transformation of thousands of industries and the high-quality development of large, small and medium-sized cities," said Xu Zhijun, Huawei rotating chairman. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Bianji, Hongyu)

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