China fuels high-quality economic growth with digital technologies

A primary school student experiences virtual skiing events of the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games at the 4th Digital China Summit & Exhibition in Fuzhou, southeast China's Fujian province, April 26, 2021. (Photo by Chen Bin/People's Daily Online)

Digital technologies are vibrantly facilitating China’s high-quality economic progress as a wave of digitalization is arriving at a faster pace.


The country is currently the second largest digital economy in the world, and has established the second largest fiber-optic and 4G networks. By the end of the last year, the GDP portion of the added value of core digital economy industries had hit 7.8 percent.


The prospering digital economy in China was mirrored by the 4th Digital China Summit, held at the end of April in Fuzhou, southeast China’s Fujian province, where a series of digital products were exhibited, including an AI-driven education robot that is able to interact with teachers and students on classes, a prototype smart plant that can help increase productivity, and an autonomous aerial vehicle that is able to carry passengers. Besides, a light show was staged at the event by 1,500 unmanned aerial vehicles which “lit” the sky. They all envisioned a new prospect of China’s digital economy.


Digital economy is regarded as the future of global development, and high-quality development calls for sci-tech innovation and digital transformation to generate new development impetus.


For instance, vein pattern recognition technology allows people to pay and confirm their identities by a simple scan of their palms, and windows of vehicles could be turned into giant touch screens that display all kinds of information when equipped with AI, Internet of Things and 5G technologies. Besides, mobile communication stations that integrate core network, base station and dispatch system functions are playing a vital role in ensuring stable communication for disaster relief missions.


As general-purpose technologies, digital technologies have seeped into various aspects of the economy and society, powering livelihood improvement, social governance and economic progress.


Digital technologies have forcefully pushed economic transformation and upgrading, and made high-quality development more effective.


Driven by digitalization, new business models have constantly emerged in recent years, generating massive new jobs and industries.


In the fight against poverty, Chinese farmers have sold their agricultural products to every corner of the country, and today, mobile phones are a new “farming tool” for them to increase their income.


China’s digital economy registered 39.2 trillion yuan ($6.1 trillion) last year, which made up 38.6 percent of the country’s GDP, according to a report on the country’s digital economy development. Digital economy exceeded one trillion yuan in 13 provinces and municipalities of the country, the report said.


When expanding, digital economy is also releasing huge dividends to benefit the people.


At present, local governments across China are pacing up to digitalize their services. Twenty-one provincial-level and 122 prefecture-level regions across the country have established digital platforms, opening over 98,000 datasets to the public. Amid the COVID-19 epidemic, the Chinese government rolled out a digital health code system that worked as e-passport reporting the real-time health condition of individuals, which realized targeted epidemic prevention and control for around 1.4 billion Chinese. Besides, 24/7 online service platforms that support the handling of all kinds of administrative affairs have been launched by Chinese local governments, connecting and synergizing different government divisions and making possible information sharing among them.


Embracing the digital era, China will unleash the potential of digital production factors, and speed up building a digital economy, society and government, according to the country’s latest economic and social development blueprint, the Outline of the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-2025) for National Economic and Social Development and the Long-Range Objectives Through the Year 2035.


By taking the pulse of the ever-changing trends of big data, sticking to the national big data strategy, developing digital infrastructure, and promoting the integration and sharing of data resources, China will better serve economic and social development and livelihood improvement with digital construction.

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