Global EditionASIA 中文双语Français
Home / China / Society

Beijing aims to be exemplar of digital economy

Chinese capital will further tap emerging tech, including AI, to build a smart city

By Chen Meiling and Du Juan | China Daily | Updated: 2024-01-22 06:58
Share - WeChat
A view of Beijing's CBD area. [Photo/VCG]

Beijing will develop into a global exemplar city for digital economy with an overall transformation in production, governance and lifestyle driven by digitization, Yin Yong, mayor of the city, said on Sunday during the second session of the 16th Beijing Municipal People's Congress.

In recent years, the city has pioneered in key technology, infrastructure and application related to the digital sector. "For example, Beijing built 30,000 5G bases last year. It has about half of the country's generative artificial intelligence large model products available for the public. It has a 160-square-kilometer high-level demonstration zone for automatic driving," Yin said while delivering a government work report during the opening ceremony of the session.

In 2023, the city's GDP reached 4.4 trillion yuan ($61.16 billion), up 5.2 percent year-on-year, while the digital economy contributed 42.9 percent to its GDP, compared with 41.6 percent in 2022. Beijing has set a GDP growth target of 5 percent for this year, according to the government work report.

In 2024, the city will further improve underlying technology of AI and make its AI models as advanced as international ones, promoting its application in government administration, the medical field, industries and life services, according to the work report.

Automatic driving will be applied in more scenarios such as airports, railway stations and urban road cleaning. The city is developing more emerging digital infrastructure such as 10-gigawatt optical network and internet of vehicles to serve the construction of a smart city, the report added.

Luo Aiwu, director of Beijing Building Construction Research Institute Co's scientific research and quality management department, said at a news conference on Sunday that construction of a smart city aims to bring better living experiences for residents and improve their sense of happiness.

"We can foresee a broader coverage of digital devices. Intelligent transport will ease traffic jams. The internet of things can monitor pollution. We can also explore more possibilities such as showing the location of barrier free facilities as well as number of tourists at an attraction, on portable devices to improve tourism experience," said Luo, who is also a member of the 14th Beijing Municipal Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference.

In the latest development, 15 automatic patrolling vehicles last week began to guard industrial parks, subway stations and shopping malls round the clock within a 60-sq-km area in the Beijing Economic-Technological Development Area. It was the first road test for such vehicles in China.

On one side of the vehicles is a display screen that broadcasts anti-fraud information, safety tips and other videos. Inside, it is loaded with explosion-proof equipment, fire extinguishers, first aid kits, rescue equipment and security equipment. Residents can press a button to seek help. The speed is 10 to 15 km per hour. Residents can speak to the police and the real-time pictures will be transferred back, in an innovative form of urban governance. The vehicles were developed by Neolix Autonomous Vehicle.

Automatic driving progress

In September 2020, Beijing started building a high-level automatic driving demonstration zone, and has since tested multiple commercial applications such as automatic trucks and those running on highways.

More than 800 vehicles from 28 companies have been tested at the automatic driving demonstration zone with an overall distance of over 20 million km. The zone has already used unmanned vehicles in passenger transport, logistics, cleaning and express delivery, serving 2 million people.

Kong Lei, director of the administrative committee of the Beijing Economic-Technological Development Area, said the zone will expand another 440 sq km to Tongzhou and Shunyi districts. In the future, passengers will also be able to take unmanned vehicles from the area to Beijing Daxing International Airport.

Liu Mingmin, chief marketing officer of Neolix Autonomous Vehicle, said China has a large consumer group, the best scenarios and a complete industrial chain to support rapid development of automatic driving.

"The low manufacturing cost and strong support from the policies also give companies much confidence to bring ideas from labs to products on the market," he said. "With more roads open for automatic driving and more supportive measures from the government, Beijing has set a good example for other cities."

He welcomed the fact that the work report said the government encourages the development of emerging technologies and the digital economy.

The company's 300 unmanned vehicles have been used in the demonstration zone, the Olympic Forest Park and the 798 Art Zone.

Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349