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Internet forum to focus on COVID-19

By Cao Yin | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2020-11-03 08:57
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The COVID-19 pandemic has led to the World Internet Conference in Wuzhen, Zhejiang province, being replaced by a two-day Internet Development Forum to be held both online and offline from Nov 23 to 24, organizers said on Monday.

"We've changed this year's World Internet Conference to a two-day forum, adjusting the number of guests coming to Wuzhen and streamlining activities," Zhao Zeliang-deputy head of the Cyberspace Administration of China, the country's top internet regulator-said at a news conference held by the State Council Information Office in Beijing.

"Guests going to Wuzhen to participate in the conference will be limited due to the outbreak, but we'll make full use of internet technologies to help more people access our activities online."

With the theme "digital empowerment creates a better tomorrow: building a community with a shared future in cyberspace", the main forum focused on science-based preventive measures in response to COVID-19 and innovation-driven development will open on Nov 23, with five sub-forums to be held the following day, organizers said.

More than a dozen cutting-edge internet scientific and technological achievements in fields including basic internet theories, business models and industrial applications, will be released at the forum after being reviewed and recommended by about 40 experts, they said.

"The release of the technological achievements and two sub-forums-'youth and the digital future' and 'innovation and breakthroughs in the industrial internet'-will be offered through livestreaming platforms," Zhao said. "People can also watch internet experts' speeches online."

He said a number of internet-related reports will be issued this year, including the China Internet Development Report 2020, the World Internet Development Report 2020 and Wuzhen Outlook 2020.

While looking at internet growth and technological innovations, the documents will also focus on the pandemic. Wuzhen Outlook 2020 will address the global fight against the pandemic and concentrate on building a community with a shared future in cyberspace, Zhao added.

Zhu Guoxian, director of the Publicity Department of the Zhejiang Provincial Committee of the Communist Party of China, said prevention and control measures will be carried out to ensure the safety of guests in Wuzhen.

The number of internet users in China had reached 940 million by June, accounting for a fifth of the world's total, the China Internet Network Information Center said in September.

The internet penetration rate in China was 67 percent, about 5 percentage points higher than the global average, it said, adding that various cyber services, including online education, medical consultation and remote-office facilities, had developed rapidly during the pandemic.

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