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President tells tech summit to innovate

By Fan Feifei and Hu Meidong in Fuzhou | China Daily | Updated: 2018-04-23 07:41
Huang Kunming, CPC Central Committee publicity head, speaks at the Digital China Summit. [Photo by Hu Meidong/China Daily]

Chinese technology companies should ramp up their efforts in technological innovation as part of a broader push required by the country's top leader to cultivate new driving forces and achieve self-reliance in key technologies, business leaders said at the first Digital China Summit, which opened in Fuzhou on Sunday.

President Xi Jinping sent a congratulatory letter to the summit, calling for development of new driving forces through informatization to promote new development and, therefore, make new achievements.

In his message, Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, said Fujian has made remarkable progress in fields such as e-governance, digital economy and intelligent society.

Xi's message came after a national conference on the work of cybersecurity and informatization held on Friday and Saturday, during which Xi called for more efforts to grasp the historic opportunity for informatization development in a bid to strengthen the country's capability in cyberspace.

Huang Kunming, a member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and head of the Publicity Department of the CPC Central Committee, also emphasized at the summit the importance of informatization to benefit the country and its people.

China's tech heavyweights expressed their desire to try making breakthroughs in core technologies, saying that digital economy has become a driving force to economic growth.

The country needs a large number of enterprises, which should shoulder more responsibilities in key technology development, Jack Ma, founder of e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, said at the summit's main forum.

Ma emphasized the importance of mastering core technologies, saying "it is the responsibility of a large company to compete in core technologies."

Alibaba announced on Friday it has fully acquired Hangzhou C-Sky Microsystems Co Ltd, which develops embedded central processing units and chip architecture, underscoring its commitment to the chip industry.

Ma Huateng, chairman and chief executive of Tencent Holdings Ltd, said it is urgent for China to end its dependence on core technologies from others, and only by doing this "can we stand up and talk with international giants on an equal footing".

"We need to make breakthroughs in core technologies and let digital innovation go into all walks of life," Ma said, adding his company is exploring how to use digital technology to cross the digital divide and solve the problem of uneven development.

Tencent has continuously increased investment in cutting-edge and core technologies over the past few years. It has established an artificial intelligence laboratory and launched its first overseas AI research lab in Seattle, Washington.

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