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Report: Digitalization gathers pace in China

By FAN FEIFEI | China Daily | Updated: 2022-11-16 09:41
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Semiconductor chips are seen on a circuit board of a computer in this illustration picture taken Feb 25, 2022. [Photo/Agencies]

Chinese companies have been making steady progress in digital transformation over the past five years, with 17 percent making decisive investments in adopting and scaling digital technologies to drive continuous business transformation this year, compared to just 7 percent in 2018, said a report from global consultancy Accenture.

The report said nearly 60 percent of surveyed business executives said they would increase their spending in the field of digitalization in the following one to two years, but they would do so more pragmatically and prudently by paying attention to the immediate financial returns of digital projects.

It found that 17 percent of the interviewed companies can be designated as "Digital Transformation Champions", which have generated more than half of their revenue from new areas of business in the past three years, up from 16 percent of companies in that category in the previous year.

The overall pace of enterprise digital transformation in China in 2022 has eased amid a more complex business landscape, it added.

"Over the past five years, Chinese companies have been successfully using digital technologies to raise competitiveness and create value in new ways," said Samantha Zhu, chairperson of Accenture Greater China.

"In the current environment, as companies manage internal and external challenges including market volatility and supply chain disruptions, maintaining productivity while also upskilling their workforce is key, and it is critical that they continue to invest in digital technologies to strengthen their core competitiveness and drive continuous innovation," Zhu said.

She said the technology-intensive industries represented by electronics and engineering machinery have taken the lead in digitalization and invested heavily in digital technologies, Zhu said, adding digital transformation is also accelerating in the retail, logistics, healthcare and life science segments.

Sustainable, purpose-led, high-quality growth companies and the continued modernization of industries are the key to China's future economic development, she said, adding companies should continue to invest in digital transformation in the face of difficulties and challenges.

China will bolster in-depth integration of digital technologies with the real economy and speed up the digital transformation of industries, according to the digital economy development plan for the 14th Five-Year Plan period (2021-25).

The scale of China's digital economy reached $7.1 trillion last year, the world's second-largest, said a white paper released by the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology, a government think tank.

Li Wei, deputy head of cloud computing and big data research at the academy, said the digitalization of enterprises serves as the cornerstone of the digital economy.

Enterprises should speed up the pace of digital transformation, concentrate on consumer requirements, integrate online and offline channels, as well as promote the digital transformation and upgrade of industries, Li said.

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