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China's digital economy a new growth engine to drive modernization

Xinhua | Updated: 2023-04-28

China's digital economy, ranking second in the world for many years, has seen robust growth and become a major growth engine for the country marching toward modernization.

The scale of China's digital economy reached 50.2 trillion yuan ($7.25 trillion) in 2022, accounting for 41.5 percent of the GDP, said a report on digital China development released Thursday.

The report was issued by the Cyberspace Administration of China at the 6th Digital China Summit, which opened on Thursday in the city of Fuzhou in East China's Fujian province.

With the theme of "Accelerating the construction of digital China to promote Chinese modernization," the two-day summit focuses on showcasing the latest achievements of the Digital China initiative, and on sharing experiences in digital development.

Participants have the opportunity to witness remarkable progress in areas such as digital infrastructure, the digital economy, and digital society at an exhibition dedicated to digital development. A digital product expo, a digital innovation competition, and a series of forums are also set to be held during the event.

The building of Digital China provides informational technology and resources to drive modernization, promote high-quality development, and will become an important engine for Chinese modernization in the digital era, said Wang Qinmin, head of the national experts panel on e-government affairs, at the opening ceremony of the summit.

As an important part of the Digital China Summit, the Digital Achievements Exhibition opened to the public at the same time in Fuzhou. This is the sixth consecutive time that the Chinese internet company Meitu participated in the exhibition. It presented an AI-generated content (AIGC) series of innovative products such as "AI painting", "AI stick figures," and "AI animation" in the exhibition.

As a new technology paradigm, AIGC has brought new enlightenment and broader creative space to the image digital industry.

Wu Xinhong, founder and CEO of Meitu Company, said that the company is continuously making efforts to improve its industrial service capability through the "AIGC +" mode, and will provide creative and efficient tools for practitioners engaging in animation design, game production, and shoes and clothing design.

According to public data, the penetration rate of AI painting in the field of image content generation will reach 10 to 30 percent in the next five years, and the market scale will exceed 60 billion yuan.

The deep integration of the digital economy and the real economy will enable the transformation and upgrading of traditional industries, create new industries and new business forms and models, and become a new engine for strengthening economic development, said Li Peigong, a professor with Shanghai Lixin University of Accounting and Finance.

Intelligent cutting machine, modern template machine, and jacking robot-- Xin Hee Co Ltd, located in China's Xiamen city in Fujian and involved in the high-end women's clothing market, actively embraces digitalization and promotes digital application and information reform.

In 2020, the company built an intelligent factory in Xiamen. By establishing an information and data collection and analysis system, the company can integrate, analyze and store terminal and market data, feedback to R&D and design, commodity planning, procurement, production, and other links.

Ye Daoren, manager of the technical department of the company, said that in order to meet the demand of the fast fashion and personalized market, the company introduced a new intelligent cutting bed for small orders last year.

"The intelligent cutting bed uses AR technology to present cutting information through electronic projection and has the functions of color separation and code separation, bar alignment, arbitrary positioning and cutting, automatic typesetting, and speed improvement. Compared with manual cutting, it can ensure accuracy, greatly improve production efficiency, and save cardboard, which is greener and more environment-friendly," Ye Daoren said.

These figures and cases mirrored China's constant efforts to promote economic digitalization.

China will accelerate the development of the digital economy and further integrate it with the real economy, according to the report to the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China.

In the past five years, the digital economy has consistently been mentioned in the Chinese government's annual work reports. During this year's "two sessions," the country unveiled a momentous development that it will set up a national data bureau.

China has also rolled out a plan for the overall layout of the country's digital development in February, vowing to make important progress in the construction of a digital China by 2025, with effective interconnectivity in digital infrastructure, a significantly improved digital economy, and major breakthroughs achieved in digital technology innovation.

By 2035, China will be at the global forefront in terms of digital development, and its digital progress in the economic, political, cultural, social, and ecological fields will be more coordinated and sufficient, according to the plan.

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