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China's digital economy to help drive world growth

Cheng Yu
Updated: Nov 06,2021 11:05    China Daily

China's digital economy is expected to provide a strong boost to global economic recovery, but more efforts should be made to bridge the digital divide and promote data flow, said industry experts and top company officials on Nov 5.

"China's digital economy, which is indeed in the fast lane, has become a new growth driver of the country's economic growth amid the COVID-19 pandemic. It has and will play an important role in driving economic recovery globally," said Gong Ke, president of the World Federation of Engineering Organizations and executive director of the Chinese Institute for the New Generation Artificial Intelligence Development Strategies.

"While data is an important factor of digital economy, more effort should be made to bridge the digital divide to benefit more user groups. To be specific, we need to improve infrastructure construction and the sharing of computing power from leading companies to smaller ones," Gong said.

He made the remarks at a sub-forum of the fourth Hongqiao International Economic Forum during the ongoing China International Import Expo in Shanghai.

Liu Jun, president of Bank of Communications, said that a winner-takes-all phenomenon is happening during the development of the platform-based economy because the country's digital economy has developed at an unprecedented speed with insufficient supervision over the past decade.

"Therefore, it is necessary to break down the existing information barriers to promote the free flow of data. The value of data cannot be maximized if a certain company uses it exclusively. Data from various departments, fields and industries must be fully combined and correlated," Liu said.

China's digital economy reached $5.4 trillion last year in terms of market size, which grew 9.6 percent year-on-year, the fastest worldwide, said the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology, a government think tank.

Such rapid development of the digital economy has attracted companies from abroad to participate. They are also expected to explore more new opportunities in the Chinese market.

To embrace the trend, Omron Healthcare said it will leverage its technological prowess to develop more digital innovations for the Chinese market.
The Japanese industrial automation giant displayed a series of digitalized products, including smart healthcare management terminals and glucose meters at the ongoing expo.

"The rapid growth of China's trade, including digital trade, has produced a strong spillover effect for the world, and it will enable China's economy to maintain a long-term positive trend and thus make a contribution to global economic growth," said Zhao Yao, general manager of Omron Healthcare China.

The CAICT report also pointed out that China and the United States are leading global development of the digital economy. The two economies also ranked first and second in terms of the market size of digital economy last year.

Matthew Margulies, vice-president of China Operations for the US-China Business Council, said at the sub-forum on Nov 5 that businesses from the US are embracing new opportunities brought by the country's rapid digital economy growth.