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Conference highlights capital's digital economy prowess

By Yuan Shenggao | | Updated: 2023-12-06 20:27
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Visitors view information at a booth promoting the e-CNY during an expo in Beijing. [Photo by Chen Xiaogen/For China Daily]

Benefiting from strong policy support, Beijing's digital economy has continued to grow and become one of the main engines driving economic growth, said a senior official at a recent industrial conference.

Jiang Guangzhi, director of the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Economy and Information Technology, delivered a speech through his digital human avatar by using generative artificial intelligence technology during the eWeek of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development held in Geneva, Switzerland, on Dec 4.

The speech titled Beijing's Experience in Building Itself into the Benchmark City in the Digital Economy received wide attention and caused an enthusiastic response from the audience. This is the first use of "Digital human plus AI" technology in the history of UNCTAD, which is a demonstration of Beijing's innovative spirit in promoting the application of cutting-edge technologies.

Jiang said since 2021, when Beijing released the Implementation Plan on Accelerating the Construction of A Global Digital Economy Exemplar City, it has always adhered to the values of openness, inclusiveness and global excellence, to boost the high-quality development of the digital economy.

The capital has made remarkable progress in developing the digital economy. As one of the cities with the most abundant endowment of digital economy resources and the most favourable development conditions in the world, Beijing has seen robust growth in its digital economy industry and information software.

Its core competitiveness in the field of digital economy has earned notable advantages, and the scale of key industries such as AI, blockchain, industrial internet and digital avatars leads the country. Beijing's enterprises accounted for more than half of the Chinese enterprises that are on the Forbes top 100 list of digital companies.

Jiang also highlighted several breakthroughs in the capital's digital economy. Beijing has established a '1+3+N' institutional framework supported by open policies, standard-setting and a measurement system; it has built digital infrastructure and promoted the deep integration of new-generation information technology and urban infrastructure, laying the foundation for the construction of smart cities; and the capital consolidates strategic advantages, nurtures new clusters of digital industries, and gathers a number of top AI research institutions.

"We have made breakthroughs in the key stages of data assetisation with pilot projects, initially formed the data factor market ecosystem and introduced a series of innovative policies," he said.

Beijing has also advanced the digital transformation of industries and empowered urban operation, industrial development and citizens' lives through measures such as the New Intelligent Manufacturing 100 project and the "3+3" action of the industrial internet.

"We have built platforms to enhance cooperation, jointly optimized the digital business environment, launched the Global Digital Economy Partner Cities Cooperation Initiative and continued to build a multi-dimensional, multi-level international exchange and cooperation system," Jiang said.

As to how Beijing will build an exemplar city for the global digital economy in the future, Jiang said that it would further optimize the regulation system led by the Beijing Digital Economy Promotion Regulations, continue to break through core technologies, accelerate the establishment of a "national experimental field" for comprehensive reforms in the nation's fundamental regulations of data, and cultivate and grow the data factor market.

He also said Beijing will remain committed to boosting a higher level of opening-up and grasp the opportunity of building the Integrated National Demonstration Zone for Opening up the Service Sector to enhance the whole industrial chain of Beijing's digital economy.

At the end of his speech, Jiang extended a cordial invitation to the world for the upcoming fourth Global Digital Economy Conference to be held in Beijing next summer.

As a major city in China and one of the exemplar cities of the global digital economy, Beijing has attracted extensive attention from the international community for its fruitful results in the advancement of the digital economy.

Jiang's speech provided new impetus to Beijing and China to advance in the global digital economy, as well as gave new insights into the recovery and growth of the global economy.

The Global Digital Economy Conference has become an authoritative international exchange platform for new technology and products in the digital economy. In 2021, the conference used a digital human for the first time as the host of its opening ceremony; in 2022, the first domestic roundtable forum on digital humans was held during the session; and in 2023, the use of a digital human was implemented in governmental activity scenarios, and the first digital human concert was held.

The Global Digital Economy Conference has witnessed the evolution of digital human technology and the iteration of the digital consumption industry, and also reflects the role of the conference in boosting industry application and accelerating the development of the digital economy.

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