Digital, platform sectors boost GDP

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A saleswoman promotes stuffed toys via livestreaming at an international trading center in Baigou New Township, Baoding City of north China's Hebei Province, Feb. 2, 2021. [Photo/Xinhua]

China's emphasis on facilitating the development of the digital economy and platform companies and accelerating digitalization of industries will help promote the in-depth integration of digital and real economies, and inject strong impetus into the country's economic recovery, said national political advisers and industry experts.

Their comments came as this year's Government Work Report stated China will strive to better develop the digital economy, step up regular oversight and support growth of the platform economy.

The country will speed up the digitalization of traditional industries and small and medium-sized enterprises to make them higher-end, smarter and more eco-friendly, the report said.

"The in-depth integration of digital and real economies is conducive to strengthening the resilience and vitality of the economy, and promoting the country's high-quality development," said Cao Peng, a member of the 14th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, and chairman of e-commerce platform JD's technology committee.

In his proposal to this year's two sessions, Cao called for a greater push to support the development of new-type enterprises that boast cutting-edge digital technologies and innovative business models, and bolster the digital transformation of traditional industries.

He highlighted the significance of safeguarding the stability and security of industrial and supply chains, saying the country should speed up construction of smart supply chain systems, encourage innovation in supply chain technologies and cultivate technology service enterprises with global competitiveness.

More efforts should be made to encourage the digital transformation of SMEs, which play a prominent role in bolstering technological innovation, said Wang Jian, a member of the 14th CPPCC National Committee.

Wang, who is also chairman of the technology steering committee at Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, suggested the country should ramp up support for SMEs in terms of policy, finance and services, and optimize its business environment.

He said that as cloud computing serves as the foundation of the digital economy, computing power is expected to become the core competence for enterprises in the future.

Alibaba is ramping up efforts to leverage digital technologies to help SMEs and speed up industrial transformation in an effort to better empower the real economy. The cloud computing sector, which is regarded as a key enabler for industry digitalization, is playing an increasingly important role in the company's overall business landscape.

The scale of China's digital economy reached 45.5 trillion ($6.6 trillion) in 2021, ranking second worldwide, and accounted for 39.8 percent of the country's GDP, according to a white paper released by the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology.

Zhou Hongyi, a member of the 14th CPPCC National Committee, and founder of cybersecurity company 360 Security Group, emphasized the significance of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises in stabilizing economic growth, expanding employment and bolstering technological innovation.

However, they are facing mounting pressures and challenges from shortages of capital, talent and technology, Zhou said.

Innovative digital technologies like big data, cloud computing and artificial intelligence are finding a wide range of applications across various industries and integrating with the real economy, said Long Haibo, a senior researcher at the Development Research Center of the State Council, China's Cabinet.

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