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Nation to beef up efforts on digital technologies

By Fan Feifei and Hu Meidong in Fuzho | China Daily | Updated: 2023-04-28

China will beef up efforts to leverage cutting-edge digital technologies to accelerate its industrial upgrade and promote deeper integration of the digital and real economies, officials and experts said on Thursday.

Li Shulei, a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, said greater efforts should be made to promote the construction of digital infrastructure, enhance capacities for independent innovation and achieve breakthroughs in core technologies in key fields.

Li, who is also head of the Publicity Department of the CPC Central Committee, made the remarks at the opening ceremony of the 6th Digital China Summit, which kicked off on Thursday in Fuzhou, Fujian province.

Data elements are playing an increasingly prominent role in advancing the building of a digital China, he said, while underscoring the significance of improving data management systems and fully unleashing the value of data resources.

Zhuang Rongwen, director of the Cyberspace Administration of China, stressed the need to facilitate the circulation of data resources, accelerate steps to establish digital governance systems and standards, as well as make innovations to the data management mechanism.

Zhuang called for heightened efforts to apply digital technologies to bolster the transformation and upgrade of traditional industries. Great importance also needs to be attached to data security management and personal information protection.

China will intensify efforts to enhance the resilience and security of industrial and supply chains, nurture emerging industries and build digital industrial clusters with global competitiveness, said Xu Xiaolan, vice-minister of industry and information technology.

"Emerging sectors, such as data centers, cloud computing and the internet of things, saw their revenues rise more than 32 percent year-on-year last year, and the value of the country's core artificial intelligence industries has exceeded 500 billion yuan ($72.3 billion)," Xu said.

Statistics from the ministry show that the country had built more than 2.64 million 5G base stations by the end of March, with the number of 5G mobile phone users reaching 620 million across the nation.

China's digital economy reached 50.2 trillion yuan in 2022, ranking second in the world and accounting for 41.5 percent of the country's GDP, according to a report released by the CAC on Thursday.

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 recently by the CPC Central Committee and the State Council, China's Cabinet.

Notable progress will be made in the construction of a digital China by 2025, the plan said.

The National People's Congress, China's top legislature, has approved a plan to reform the institutions of the State Council, including establishing a national data bureau, which will coordinate the integration, sharing, development and application of data resources.

The sharing, circulation, trading and application of data, which is regarded as a new type of production factor, are key to promoting the country's digital development, said Chen Zuoning, an academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering.

Zhang Yong, chairman and CEO of Chinese tech heavyweight Alibaba Group, said, "The in-depth integration of a new round of artificial intelligence with the real economy will bring fundamental changes to various industries."

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