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Event highlights digital transformation

Fan Feifei
Updated: July 30, 2022 11:28    China Daily

China will accelerate the upgrade of traditional industries through digital transformation and promote the integration of the digital economy with the real economy.

This effort will be part of China's drive to foster high-quality development of the digital economy, said officials and experts at the Global Digital Economy Conference 2022 in Beijing on July 29.

More efforts are needed to speed up the innovation of digital technologies and the construction of information infrastructures like 5G, gigabit optical networks, artificial intelligence, and the internet of things so as to inject fresh impetus into the digital economy, said Cao Shumin, deputy head of the Cyberspace Administration of China, at the opening ceremony of the conference.

Cao called for promoting the industrialization of digital technologies and the digital transformation of industries, bolstering the in-depth integration of the digital economy with the real economy as well as fostering new industries, new business formats, and new models.

Noting the digital economy serves as a key pivot for economic growth, Cao underscored the need to improve the digitalization of public services as well as the digital economy governance system, strengthen international cooperation and exchanges on the digital economy, and build a community with a shared future in cyberspace.

Xu Kemin, chief economist of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, said heightened efforts are needed to make breakthroughs in key and core technologies, with a focus on strategic frontier areas, in order to push forward the digital transformation of manufacturing and improve the rules and regulations concerning the development of the digital economy.

The digital economy is currently booming across the globe. In China, new industries and forms of business are buoyed by innovative digital technologies like big data, cloud computing and artificial intelligence. They are finding a wide range of applications across various industries and integrating with the real economy.

The scale of China's digital economy reached $7.1 trillion last year, the world's second-largest, according to a white paper released by the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology, a government think tank.

Beijing Mayor Chen Jining said the national capital will build digital industrial clusters with global competitiveness, boost the application of digital technologies in various industries, promote the development of intelligent cities, transportation, and healthcare, and foster new types of consumption scenarios.

Beijing has made great strides in developing cutting-edge technologies like big data, cloud computing, and artificial intelligence, with the added value of the digital economy reaching 1.6 trillion yuan ($237.4 billion) in 2021, accounting for 40.4 percent of Beijing's GDP.

Companies around the world are speeding up their digital transformation. Crawford Del Prete, president of global market research firm International Data Corp, said: "The IT industry is scaling like never before. 2021 was the first year of double-digit spending growth in over 20 years. Real GDP was about 6 percent worldwide in 2021, and IT growth was about 11 percent growth."

Zhou Hongyi, founder of cybersecurity company 360 Security Group, said cybersecurity needs to be upgraded to digital security. Although the digital economy could bring about new development opportunities, it poses new cybersecurity challenges as well. Data security is more important than ever before, Zhou said, and called for enhanced efforts to deal with the new problems.

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