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Digitalization of industry advances the country's business potential

By Liu Yukun | China Daily | Updated: 2019-10-22 13:30
Entrepreneurs representing institutions and companies from home and abroad take part in a panel meeting at the industrial digitalization forum during the sixth World Internet Conference in Wuzhen on Monday. [Photo by Gao Erqiang/China Daily]

China is shaping the global digital landscape with its tech-driven traditional industries and emerging markets, according to experts.

"China has attached great importance to its digitalization of industry. Both the central and local governments have rolled out preferential policies to support innovative entrepreneurship. The country is also exploring more possibilities of adapting technology in new areas," Liu Liehong, vice-minister of the Cyberspace Administration of China, said on Monday at a forum, titled Industry Digitalization: New Growth Drivers to Open up New Space for Integrated Development, on the sidelines of the ongoing sixth World Internet Conference in Wuzhen, Zhejiang province.

China's concentrated efforts in promoting digitalization - the use of technologies to provide new revenues to industries - has contributed to over 25 percent annual growth in its market size since 2005, Liu said.

By 2018, China's industrial digitalization market hit 24.9 trillion yuan ($3.52 trillion), contributing 79.5 percent to the country's digital economy, according to data from the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology.

China's 31.3 trillion yuan digital economy accounted for 34.8 percent of the country's GDP the same year, statistics from the CAICT showed. According to a McKinsey report, the country has become a global leader in the digital economy with its active digital investment and startup-friendly business environment.

Weng Jieming, vice-chairman of the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council, China's Cabinet, said at the same forum: "The SASAC has been promoting the integration of digital advancement in both traditional and emerging industries, and many State-owned enterprises have been on the fast track of digital transformation.

"Digital transformation is essential for SOEs to enhance production and operation efficiency, which help increase their global competitiveness."

Weng added that to date, 89 SOEs have set up digital-management systems for their daily business operations, and 69 have established digital systems for human-resource management and finance.

Yang Jie, chairman of China Mobile Communications Group Co Ltd, said on Monday that the group was aiming to advance the digital transformation of businesses in traditional sectors.

"With 5G becoming a key accelerator of industrial digitalization, China Mobile is set to integrate 5G with numerous industries with a focus on transportation and healthcare," Yang said.

Guo Jijun, vice-president of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, said that aside from its e-commerce business, the group has also stepped into manufacturing, financing and other industries.

"Going ahead, we hope for more cooperation across different fields to build an ecosystem for the development of industrial digitalization," Guo said.

Song Changqing, head of Chinese operations at DigitalGlobe Inc, a US satellite-imagery and geospatial-information company, said the digitalization has given China great business potential.

"We observed a surging need of advanced technologies, even from companies in traditional industries like infrastructure, mining, transportation and many others. We have partnered with many Chinese mining companies and are still seeking more opportunities," Song said.

LinkedIn also saw business opportunities from China's growing industrial digitalization.

Allen Blue, co-founder of Linked-In, said the company has been analyzing digital-talent flows across the country and offering insights into future opportunities to governments and organizations. The company published its fourth report on the subject, Digital Transformation of Chinese Industries: A Digital Talent Perspective, along with Tsinghua University in Wuzhen.

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