SCIO press conference on development of industry and information technology in 2021

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Hong Kong Economic Herald:

In recent years, the rapid development of the digital economy has attracted widespread attention and has become a new engine for the 14th Five-Year Plan. What major achievements did the MIIT make in promoting the development of the digital economy last year? How do you view digital economy trends in the next stage? And how can you make the digital economy operate stably and with a far reach? Thank you.

Tian Yulong:

Thank you for your questions. Let me answer them. The CPC Central Committee and the State Council attach great importance to the digital economy. General Secretary Xi Jinping has given important instructions about it on many occasions. It's fair to say that the development of the digital economy entered a "fast lane" last year. There are several features:

First, since the development of digital economy is also an integration of multiple economic fields, it primarily focuses on the innovation of key technologies. Last year, we made a series of breakthroughs in key core technology areas. Our innovation and development of big data, cloud computing and blockchain are currently at the forefront of the world. Our advantages in this regard are obvious. 5G mobile communications technology, equipment and applications are leading the world. Smartphones have also entered the world's advanced ranks. The foundation of the digital economy, in terms of integrated circuits and software, has also achieved milestones. Therefore, in terms of technological breakthroughs, the digital economy achieved gratifying results last year.

Second, in terms of overcoming difficulties in the digital industry, we have continued to strengthen the industrial economy. There are several characteristics. After the construction of new types of information infrastructure gathered speed, the comprehensive strength of our information infrastructure has reached a new level. As I mentioned just now, we have built the world's largest optical fiber network and 5G network, which lay an important foundation for realizing the digital economy. We have launched 1.425 million 5G base stations. Pushing forward the integration of our cyber industry applications has brought the development of the digital economy into a "fast lane." The resilience of the development of the digital economy is also very remarkable. Last year, business revenue from the software information technology service industry increased by 17.7%, ahead of the industry average. The development of the home economy, online economy and information development has raced through a "fast lane" due to the COVID-19 pandemic, boosting the growth of the industry and the demand.

Third, the digitalization of manufacturing picked up speed. The intelligent manufacturing equipment industry developed rapidly. Last year, the output value of industrial robot manufacturing enterprises above the designated size surged 30.8% year on year; and that of 3D printing equipment enterprises registered a year-on-year increase of 27.7%. In particular, more than 150 industrial internet platforms with national influence were established and over 2,000 "5G+industrial internet" projects are under construction. Digital technology is crucial for SMEs, especially those with high growth potential, advanced technology and a competitive edge in the market. Most of them are innovative enterprises with advantages as latecomers to the digital economy and they develop relatively fast. We believe these SMEs will perform exceptionally well in the digital economy.

Fourth, the ecology of the digital economy improved. We deepened reforms to streamline administration and delegate power, improve regulation and upgrade services. We also simplified approval procedures and optimized relevant processes. These measures supported the development of digital economy enterprises by reducing government-imposed transaction costs. In collaboration with other departments and local authorities, we built a number of digital industrial clusters which leveraged the advantages of different regions in industry, technology and talent. As you might know from news reports, local authorities across the country hosted many exhibitions, conferences and forums, centered around the digital economy last year, while working to facilitate the flow of digital economy factors and upgrade industrial clusters. In addition, we engaged more actively with international efforts through bilateral and multilateral mechanisms such as G20, participated in the formulation of digital rules and cooperated in data and cyber security, and helped more Chinese digital enterprises go global. All these have contributed to the building of a global cyber-community with a shared future. Therefore, the overall development trends of the digital economy are encouraging. Next, we will continue to follow the guidance of the plan to facilitate the development of the digital economy in the 14th Five-Year Plan period (2021-2025) issued by the State Council. We will focus on accelerating the integration of digital and real economies, promoting the development of digital information infrastructure and improving the digital economy governance system. We will take coordinated measures to promote the development of digital industries and the digital transformation of traditional industries, empowering traditional industries with next-generation information technology and fostering new industries, new businesses and new models. Under the guidance of the plan, we will mobilize forces and resources from all quarters to ensure the rapid and stable development of the digital economy. This is our goal and I believe we will achieve it. Thanks.

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