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Information consumption vital to China's economy

By Yu Xiaoming | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2019-03-18 14:18
An English teacher in the US interacts with a Chinese kid in Beijing during an e-class of the VIPKid, a Chinese online education platform. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Information consumption has become a new engine for China's economy, playing a vital role in driving domestic demand, creating jobs and pushing forward industrial upgrades, People's Daily reported.

Last year, China's information consumption rose 11 percent year-on-year to 5 trillion yuan ($745.39 billion), accounting for 6 percent of the GDP, according to the Internet Society of China.

To further boost information consumption, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and the National Development and Reform Commission unveiled an action plan in August.

According to the plan, by 2020, China's spending on information consumption is expected to be 6 trillion yuan, with average annual growth of more than 11 percent. Information technology is estimated to drive 15 trillion yuan in related consumption.

Internet Plus

Resources like healthcare, education and culture are unmovable. However, internet blurs the boundary and allows people to access high-quality resources without leaving their home.

According to the action plan, China will promote Internet Plus in several sectors such as healthcare, elderly care, education and culture, to boost new consumption based on internet platforms, and develop online and offline coordinated consumption.

According to a report from the China E-commerce Research Center, in 2017, China's online education market was worth 240.2 billion yuan, up 53.97 percent from the previous year. The figure is expected to grow to more than 400 billion yuan in market scale in 2018.

The upgrade in information capacity usually brings about great changes, Wang Zhenzhong, an engineer from Alibaba Group, told the newspaper. "It will upgrade the former consumption and create new consumption sectors."

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