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Digital economy growth requires global efforts

By Ouyang Shijia in Wuzhen, Zhejiang | China Daily | Updated: 2017-12-05 07:34

Digital economy growth requires global efforts

Participants from all over the world attend the 4th World Internet Conference in Wuzhen, Zhejiang province. [Photo by Zou Hong/China Daily]

China is willing to deepen global cooperation in the digital economy to gain new momentum and expand global economic growth, the head of the country's internet regulatory body said on Monday.

Xu Lin, minister of the Cyberspace Administration of China, reiterated that China would further open its economy and would work with other countries to develop an integrated global digital market with mutual benefits.

"We will actively implement the G20 Digital Economy Development and Cooperation Initiative and deepen international cooperation related to the Belt and Road Initiative," Xu said at the 4th World Internet Conference.

According to Xu, countries should strengthen cooperation in policy making and regulation on network facilities, information technology, cross-border e-commerce, data distribution and other digital related fields to build a fair and efficient governance system.

"Working together, we should deepen global cooperation on cybersecurity, strengthen data protection and combat crimes in the field of digital economy," Xu said.

Digital economy is playing an increasingly significant part in driving China's economic growth. The size of China's digital economy hit 22 trillion yuan ($3.3 trillion) in 2016, accounting for 30 percent of the country's gross domestic product.

Yuan Jiajun, governor of Zhejiang province, said the digital economy is also increasingly becoming a key driver to boost global economic development.

"The digital economy is experiencing a new phase of high growth, and is projected to be worth $16 trillion in China by 2035," Yuan added.

Seeing the big potential, the Chinese government has attached great importance to the development of the digital economy and introduced a wide range of strategies and operations, including the national IT development strategy, the national big data strategy and the "Internet Plus" action plan.

Statistics from the China Internet Network Information Center back up this internet boom. By June this year, the country had about 750 million netizens, accounting for one-fifth of the global total.

"To promote and support the development of the digital economy, it is necessary for global leaders, governments, related industries and academia to reach a consensus," said Wang Binying, deputy director-general of the World Intellectual Property Organization.

She added that the digital economy will accelerate transformation and upgrading in various industries, and have a huge impact on people's daily life.

Zhang Yong, CEO of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, agreed, saying the integration of the digital and real economies offers a promising blueprint for future development.

"It offers enormous opportunities for China to catch up with leading countries," he said.

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