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Premier Li meets the press: Full transcript of questions and answers

Ministry of Foreign Affairs | Updated: 2019-03-16 19:22

The Paper: You have been calling for the growth of Internet Plus and sharing economy. However, we also saw serious problems last year in these areas. What's your comment? What measures should be adopted to better regulate the growth of sharing economy?

Premier Li: Internet Plus and sharing economy can also be viewed as a platform economy. Like other new things, they also have upsides and downsides. They have added new jobs, and made life easier and more convenient for our people. They have also driven China's industrial development. For example, the growth of e-commerce, express delivery services and mobile payment have made life more convenient for our people. When wisdom and strength are pooled, all stand to benefit.

For these new forms of business and new business models, we must not exercise arbitrary regulation or oversight, that is, either letting them be or shutting them down as soon as problems appear. Our choice over the years is to exercise accommodative and prudential regulation. By accommodative, we need to recognize that what is known about new things is always much less than what is unknown about them. So they should be allowed a good chance to grow. And the government needs to detect and redress any possible problem that comes along the way.

By prudential regulation, the government needs to draw a clear line at public safety and security. And no one should be allowed to use Internet Plus or sharing economy as an excuse or means for cheating and manipulation. In this way, our purpose is to foster a more enabling environment for all entrepreneurs and provide our companies good opportunities in developing new drivers of growth. In a word, there should be equal access to the market and impartial regulation on the part of the government. In market competition, the fittest will survive. And with impartial regulation, good rules will be enforced. There will always be both happiness and pain in the growth of new forms of business. The job of the government is to provide them with proper guidance.

Internet Plus and sharing and platform economies still have broad space for further growth. For example, e-commerce and express delivery services have made it possible for industrial goods to reach rural areas, and for quality agricultural produce to be delivered to urban households. In the industrial sector, we may advance the Industrial Internet to put idle production equipment to better and more efficient use and encourage technological innovation. In the social sphere, Internet Plus has also made a difference. For example, it has enabled the sharing and connectivity of different medical, health care resources, educational resources and other services so that even children, aged people and others living in remote rural areas can have access to better hospitals, schools, doctors, teachers and other quality resources. There are many such concrete examples. Such a development has further energized our markets and unleashed public creativity.

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