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Timeline: China's internet development

Xinhua | Updated: 2016-11-15 13:48

BEIJING - The Third World Internet Conference will start Wednesday in Wuzhen, Zhejiang province, East China.

President Xi Jinping will address the three-day conference via a live feed.

Home to the world's largest online community, 710 million people as of June 2016, more than 95 percent of China's cities, towns and villages are now covered by fixed broadband.

Since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) in 2012, China has been making efforts to build itself into an internet power.

-- In November 2013, the third plenary session of the 18th CPC Central Committee included internet development in its mission to "comprehensively deepen reform," calling for better management of cyberspace.

-- In February 2014, the central internet security and informatization leading group, headed by Xi, was established to lead and coordinate internet security and digitalization, and draft national strategies, development plans and major policies in this field.

-- In October 2014, the fourth plenary session of the 18th CPC Central Committee decided that the internet should be administered by law, and that legislation and regulations should follow.

-- In April 2016 at a meeting on internet security and digitalization, Xi, who is also general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, said China should create a cleaner online environment and improve cyberspace security by applying core systems, employing outstanding personnel and contracting responsible internet firms.

-- In August 2016, the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC), the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine and the Standardization Administration of China released the criteria for the national development of information technology.

-- On Oct 9, 2016, during a group meeting attended by senior leaders, Xi reiterated that to successfully build China into an internet power the country must innovate information technology, boost digital economy, and improve both online management and security.

-- In late October of 2016, the CAC, the National Development and Reform Commission and the State Council Leading Group Office of Poverty Alleviation and Development released a plan on expanding online services to rural areas. The plan featured articles on how to increase the sale of agricultural products, better-quality education services and proposed that an information service system for the poor be established by 2020.

-- On Nov 7, 2016, the top legislature passed the Cybersecurity Law, featuring articles on sovereignty in cyberspace, national security and the rights of citizens. By adopting the law, the government will begin to roll out measures to "monitor, defend and handle cybersecurity risks and threats originating from within the country or overseas sources, protecting key information infrastructure from attack, intrusion, disturbance and damage."

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