SCIO briefing on development of industry and telecommunication in the 13th Five-Year Plan period (2016-2020)

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Speakers:

Wang Zhijun, vice minister of industry and information technology

Lu Shan, director of the Planning Department of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT)

Wen Ku, director of the Telecom Development Department and spokesperson of the MIIT

Chairperson:

Shou Xiaoli, spokesperson for the State Council Information Office

Date:

Oct. 23, 2020


Shou Xiaoli:

Ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon. Welcome to the press conference of the State Council Information Office (SCIO). During the 13th Five-Year Plan period (2016-2020), remarkable achievements have been made in the reform and development of China's industry and information technology sectors. In order to help people better understand related issues, we are very pleased to be joined by Mr. Wang Zhijun, vice minister of industry and information technology, who will brief you on the development of industry and telecommunication during the 13th Five-Year Plan period (2016-2020) and take your questions.

Also taking part in the press conference today are Mr. Lu Shan, director of the Planning Department of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), and Mr. Wen Ku, director of the Telecom Development Department and spokesperson of the MIIT.

First of all, I would like to invite Mr. Wang to make his opening statement.

Wang Zhijun:

Friends from the media, ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon. Welcome to today's press conference. I would like to thank you for your long-term interest and support in the development of China's industry and information technology sectors. With regards to the progress in building China into a manufacturing and cyber power during the 13th Five-Year Plan period, Minister of Industry and Information Technology Xiao Yaqing has written a signed article published on the People's Daily. We have provided you all with a printed copy for your reference. Now, I will briefly introduce the development of industry and information technology during the period.

General Secretary Xi Jinping has stressed that we should "work faster to build China into a manufacturer of quality, develop advanced manufacturing, and promote further integration of the internet, big data, and artificial intelligence with the real economy." The 13th Five-Year Plan period is the first crucial stage in building China into a manufacturing and cyber power. Under the strong leadership of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core, industry and information technology agencies at all levels have implemented the decisions and plans made by the CPC Central Committee and the State Council and continued to follow the general principle of pursuing progress while ensuring stability. We have steadfastly advanced supply-side structural reform and made concrete efforts to build China into a manufacturer of quality and a cyber power.

All the main tasks and targets laid out in the 13th Five-Year Plan are to be fulfilled as scheduled, with overall strength in industry and information technology being raised to new heights. Society has attached greater importance to the real economy as well as the development of industry and information technology. The integration of industrial processes and information technology has reached a much higher level, and solid progress has been made in building China into a manufacturer of quality and a cyber power.

From 2016 to 2019, China's industrial added value increased from 24.54 trillion yuan to 31.71 trillion yuan. This represents an average annual growth of 5.9%, which is much higher than the global average of 2.9% during the same period. In 2019, China's value-added in manufacturing reached 26.9 trillion yuan, accounting for 28.1% of the global total, with the country remaining the world's largest manufacturer for 10 consecutive years. The R&D spending of industrial enterprises above designated size reached 1.43% of the income from their main business operations, exceeding the target of 1.26% ahead of schedule.

The supply system has continuously improved, and the transformation and upgrading of traditional industries has accelerated. From 2016 to 2019, the investment in upgrading technologies has risen from 40.6% to 47.1% as a proportion of total industrial investment. Significant achievements have been made in cutting overcapacity. The target for reducing steel production capacity by 150 million tons set out in the 13th Five-Year Plan has been completed two years ahead of schedule. Energy consumption per unit of industrial added value created by enterprises above designated size has continued to decline. Strategic emerging industries have developed at a faster pace. The value-added by high-tech manufacturing and equipment manufacturing respectively accounted for 14.4% and 32.5% of total value-added created by industrial enterprises above designated size. The two industries have become main forces driving the development of manufacturing.

Since the beginning of the 13th Five-Year Plan period in 2016, major breakthroughs have been achieved in a group of key technologies and products. China's Chang'e-4 lunar probe landed on the far side of the moon; launch missions for the Long March-5 carrier rocket series were successfully conducted; the Tianwen-1 Mars probe blasted off; construction of the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS) was completed; China's first domestically built polar research vessel and icebreaker, Xuelong 2, joined Xuelong on the country's 36th Antarctic expedition; the Fuxing series of bullet trains which travel at 350 kph began large-scale operation; and breakthroughs were made in new materials, such as materials for large passenger plane C919, and glass substrates for flat panel displays.

The Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, Yangtze River Delta and Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area have increasingly played a leading role in promoting the innovation-driven development of manufacturing. Foreign investors' access to China's general manufacturing sector has gradually increased, and important progress has been made in improving opening-up and cooperation. The influence of these sectors on global industrial and value chains has noticeably grown.

The information and communications sector has maintained steady and rapid growth and is playing a major pioneering role in driving economic growth. As internet infrastructure continues to upgrade, our internet penetration goals have been fulfilled ahead of time. By the end of 2019, the household penetration rate of fixed broadband and the user penetration rate of mobile broadband had reached 91% and 96%, respectively. Over 80 million households had access to a 1,000-megabyte fiber internet connection, and over 1.2 billion people were subscribed to a 4G network. The commercial use of 5G is making solid headway. China now has 690,000 5G base stations nationwide, benefiting over 160 million users. The number of server racks in China's data centers has reached 2.2 million, with the average annual growth surpassing 30%. People are enjoying an increased sense of fulfillment. The country has up to 90,000 value-added telecom companies, tripling the number in 2015. The average rates for mobile internet services have been cut by 95% compared to rates in late 2015. China has also launched a campaign to clean up mobile apps that infringe on the legal rights of mobile users. We have well achieved the goal of telecom universal services. Fiber internet connections and 4G networks are both available to 98% of China's administrative villages, driving nationwide efforts for poverty alleviation and rural vitalization.

A sound industrial ecosystem is taking shape in which enterprises of all sizes are pursuing development through collaboration. China is now home to more leading and globally competitive enterprises. The country now features 133 companies on the Fortune Global 500, the most from any one country in the world, and 23 more than in 2016. A total of 14 companies made it onto the 2019 Forbes Digital 100 List, with China Mobile and Alibaba among the top 10. China has also implemented various preferential policies to help companies navigate difficulties, taken measures to improve the policy system for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and made step-by-step efforts to upgrade government services in order to stabilize entities and drive employment. In information and telecoms, rail transportation, and the new energy vehicles sector, China has also witnessed several SMEs grow into market leaders with strong innovation capacities and international competitiveness. SMEs have seen a significant improvement in their specialization, vitality and competitiveness.

We have also seen a deeper integration of industrialization and informatization. Smart manufacturing technologies are being applied in the construction of digital workshops and smart factories. Industrial internet has made major progress as its networks, platforms, and safety systems continue to develop, with integrated applications now covering over 30 major sectors in the national economy. New business forms and models like smart manufacturing, internet collaborations, customization, servitization, and digital management are gaining momentum. Moreover, the digital economy is booming and transactions in both e-commerce and mobile payment rank first in the world. As big data, cloud computing, the internet of things, and artificial intelligence technologies are increasingly applied to socioeconomic development, we have seen a surge of numerous new business forms and models.

In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic and the complicated domestic and international environment, we have resolutely implemented the decisions and arrangements made by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC). We made all-out efforts to guarantee medical supplies, and took the lead in ensuring supplies for epidemic prevention and control and promoting the resumption of work and production, which provided strong support for keeping economic fundamentals stable. Made-in-China products have not only contributed to the domestic and global battle against COVID-19 but also to economic recovery. The value added of industrial enterprises above designated size grew 1.2% year over year in the first three quarters of the year, with the growth rate hitting 5.8% in the third quarter and 6.9% in September. China's industrial sector is on a path of sustained and stable recovery, featuring an accelerating industrial output, the better dovetailing of production and marketing, and the significantly increasing confidence of market entities.

Currently, China is undergoing a crucial and challenging stage in the development of its industry and communications sector. In the face of a complicated domestic and international environment, we will, under the firm leadership of the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core, apply the new development philosophy, study and explore ways for the development in industry and communications, put our comparative advantages to the best use, defuse risks and meet challenges head-on, seize strategic opportunities, hold the initiative in development, and remain firm in our commitment to pursuing development in manufacturing and cyberspace. In order to promote high-quality development, we will continue to deepen the supply-side structural reform, follow the guidelines to consolidate foundations, strengthen areas of weakness, highlight strengths, and upgrade the business environment. We will speed up building a modern industrial system, and foster a new, dual-cycle development architecture with the domestic cycle as the mainstay andwith domestic and international development reinforcing each other. These methods will help to make a good start for the development of a modern socialist China in all respects. Thank you.

Shou Xiaoli:

Now, the floor is open for questions. Please identify your news outlet before you raise your question.

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