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China’s new economies grow in first quarter

Updated: Apr 11,2016 3:45 PM

With new technologies and new business models gradually seeping into people’s daily lives, they added vigor to the Chinese economy and were a bright spot in the first quarter of the 13th Five-Year Plan period (2016-2020).

From January to February, retail sales of online goods and service industries saw an increase of 27.2 percent, and online sales also drove the fast growth of the delivery industry, according to data from the National Statistics Bureau. Statistics also showed that revenue of scale-designated industrial enterprises had a 4.8 percent year-on-year increase during the first two months of the year.

Besides the convenience of calling taxis, making hospital appointments through a cell phone and window-cleaning robots, self-driving cars also will enter people’s lives.

Baidu Inc has completed the road trial of its first self-driving car on Beijing’s Fifth Ring Road, and 10 more cities will be added to the road tests in the future. Mass production will also be achieved in five years, said the company’s senior Vice President Wang Jin.

Self-driving cars will help increase travel efficiency and reduce traffic accidents, he added.

Major technological projects and construction in the 13th Five-Year Plan cover areas of the new economy’s development, such as information technology, new-energy vehicles, intelligent transportation and virtual reality.

New business models such as sharing economy, online retail, and information economy also are emerging quickly in China.

Estimates said that by 2025, value of the global sharing economy could reach 230 billion pounds, and China has huge room for developing this new business model.

A clothing company’s new clothing sales reached 1.6 million yuan in 15 minutes after they signed a contract with an online celebrity and asked her to sell the brand’s clothes in her online store, according to a clothing brand owner.

“New economy is the result of supply-side structural reform, and it not only includes the development of new emerging economies, but also upgrades in traditional industries,” said Chen Jingwei, deputy director of the China Enterprise Confederation.

Even the military industry began to transform under the new economy. A detector invented by the 35th research institute of the China Aerospace Science and Industry Corp was promoted to be used in common municipal construction.

Developing new economies needs new systems and regulations, and experts said that at the conversion corner of the old and new driving engines, the country should try to invigorate the market and encourage participation from private capital.