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China set to spark internet economy

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A journalist tries out a smart fitness device at culture and sports integration exhibition area of the China International Fair for Trade in Services (CIFTIS) in Beijing, capital of China, Sept 3, 2020. Xinhua

China set to spark internet economy

China will scale up measures to spur the growth of the digital economy in a bid to inject new impetus into the economy and foster high-quality development, said the nation’s top industry regulator on Saturday.

Minister of Industry and Information Technology Xiao Yaqing said data has become a key factor of production and a new engine to promote changes in economic development intended to improve quality and efficiency.

He said: “The free flow of data will help boost the free flow of production factors from technology, capital and talent; promote the optimal allocation of resources; and raise total factor productivity.”

He made the remarks at the Forum of Trends and Latest Developments of Digital Trade under the ongoing China International Fair for Trade in Services (Ciftis) held in Beijing.

The Ciftis, which marks the country’s first major international trade event held offline since the start of the Covid-19 outbreak, lasts from September 4-9.

Fuelled by the booming new technologies and the government’s supportive policies, the digital economy is gradually becoming the key driving force to boost China’s economic development.

Xiao said: “China’s digital economy has scaled up from 11 trillion yuan to 35.8 trillion yuan [$1.6 to $5.2 trillion], accounting for 36.2 per cent of the GDP [gross domestic product].”

Last year, the country’s software industry posted a year-on-year growth of 15.4 per cent and hit 7.2 trillion yuan in revenue. And the country has attained 60 million 5G users, he said.

The ministry’s data showed that China has now gained more than 70 domestic industrial internet public platforms, which have served more than 400,000 industrial enterprises.

In the next step, the ministry will make a big push to promote digital industrialisation and industrial digitalisation, Xiao said.

More efforts are also needed to speed up the construction of digital infrastructure; promote the large-scale commercial deployment of 5G; accelerate the digital, networked and intelligent transformation of manufacturing; improve data services; and strengthen international exchanges and cooperation in the digital economy, he added.



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