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Digital sector to gain from next-gen IT

(chinadaily.com.cn) Updated: 2023-07-06


Visitors interact with artificial intelligence at the Competitive Products Theme Exhibition in Beijing, July 4, 2023. [Photo/VCG]

Key event underlines infrastructure, data security, integration with society

To ensure high-quality development of the digital economy, China will sharpen focus on strategic emerging industries like big data, artificial intelligence and intelligent connected vehicles, besides promoting advanced manufacturing, officials and experts said.

Digital infrastructure will be built at an accelerated pace, with a focus on bolstering the digital transformation of industries and pressing ahead with the application of new-generation information technologies in various fields, said Wang Jiangping, vice-minister of industry and information technology.

Wang made the remarks at the opening ceremony of the Global Digital Economy Conference 2023, which kicked off in Beijing late on Tuesday.

Data from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology showed the country had more than 2.84 million 5G base stations by the end of May, with the number of cellular internet of things end-users exceeding 2.05 billion.

In the first five months of this year, the revenue of the country's software industry surpassed 4.3 trillion yuan ($594 billion), up more than 13 percent year-on-year, Wang said, adding the cloud computing and big data service segments saw their combined revenue reach 436.6 billion yuan during the period.

Cong Liang, deputy head of the National Development and Reform Commission, said the digital economy is playing an important role in boosting the country's economic growth. He called for efforts to propel the interconnectivity of information infrastructure and expand international cooperation in the digital economy domain.

The revenue of China's digital economy reached 50.2 trillion yuan in 2022, ranking second in the world and equivalent to 41.5 percent of the country's GDP, according to a report released by the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology.

China will take solid steps to build digital infrastructure and data resource systems and bolster deeper integration of digital technologies with the economy, politics, culture, society and ecology, said a guideline released by the Communist Party of China Central Committee and the State Council, China's Cabinet, in February. Notable progress will be made in the construction of a digital China by 2025, the plan said.

Noting that data has become a new type of production factor, Mei Hong, an academician with the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said accelerated steps should be taken to establish a market for data elements, promote the confirmation of data-related rights and facilitate the circulation and transaction of data resources, so as to fully unleash the value of massive data resources.

In December, China unveiled 20 key measures to build basic systems for data and fully unleash the value of data resources. The basic systems will involve the establishment of a data property rights system, a circulation and trading system, a revenue distribution system and a security governance system.

Xu Ran, CEO of Chinese e-commerce giant JD, said the company has invested more than 100 billion yuan in basic science and technology R&D since 2017, and is committed to enhancing the resilience and safety of supply chains by leveraging digital technologies.

Looking ahead, JD will speed up the transformation and upgrading of traditional industries, promote the in-depth integration of the digital economy with the real economy and make efforts to build a modern industrial system, Xu said.

Li Zixue, chairman of ZTE Corp, a major Chinese telecom equipment maker, underlined the significance of building efficient, green and low-carbon digital infrastructure, such as 5G networks, and achieving breakthroughs in core technologies in key fields, including chips, operation systems and databases.

Li said ZTE will step up its investment in technology R&D, improve independent innovation capacity in both software and hardware devices and bolster the application scenarios of 5G in more key sectors like manufacturing and agriculture.