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China Releases World's First National IT Index
China's and the world's first national information technology (IT) index has drawn a true picture of the adoption of IT in the country and is expected to further accelerate its process.

The National Informatization Quotient (NIQ) - believed by Wu Jichuan, minister of MII, as another important indicator to gauge the development of gross domestic product - comprises 20 items, including computer owners per thousand people, per capita band width, the contribution rate of the information industry to the national economy, and Internet users per million people.

"After eight years' hard work, we finally launched the NIQ index, and it will become a key index of China's IT development," said Song Ling, director of China Informatization Evaluation Centre (NIEC) and director-general of the Department for the Promotion of Informatization under the Ministry of Information Industry (MII).

Song believed the index will be a guideline for the promotion and adoption of IT.

According to NIEC's report, the NIQ in 2000 was 38.46, compared with 30.14 in 1999 and 25.89 in 1998, and the average growth rate in the three years was 21.9 per cent, much higher than the average growth of the national economy at 7-8 per cent.

According to Jiang Qiping, due to some statistical problems, the NIQ for last year will not be published until later this year.

** Information technology playing greater role in economy of China

China's 2000 national informatization quotient is 38.46, compared with 30.14 in 1999 and 25.89 in 1998, according to a national evaluation made by the China National Informatization Evaluation Centre (NIEC).

Entrusted by the Informatization Department of the Ministry of Information Industry, the centre issued the Evaluation Result of the State Informatization Index and a research report on the State informatization level on March 19 in Beijing.

Related experts said the national information quotient (NIQ) is an important national index besides the gross domestic product (GDP) to demonstrate a country's comprehensive strength.

The evaluation was made based on 20 aspects of China's national Informatization.

They include:

1. Radio and TV broadcasting hours/per 1,000 people

2. Bandwidth per person

3. Telephone use: frequency per person

4. Total length of long distance cable

5. Microwave channels: number in total channels

6. Total number of satellite stations

7. Number of telephone lines per 100 people

8. Number of cable TV stations per 1,000 people

9. Number of Internet users per 1 million people

10. Number of computers per 1,000 people

11. Number of TV sets per 100 people

12. Total capacity of Internet data bank

13. E-commerce trade volume

14. Proportion of investment in the Information Industry by enterprises to the total fixed investment

15. Added value contributed by the information Industry to the total GDP

16. Contributions made by the information industry to the total GDP increase

17. Proportion of expenses for research and development (R&D) of the information industry to the country's total budget in R&D

18. Proportion of investment on the infrastructural development of the information industry to the country's total investment in capital construction

19. Proportion of university graduates per 1,000 people

20. Information Index

China's 2000 national informatization quotient of 38.46 shows that the index for 19 provinces, cities and autonomous regions was higher than the country's average, and that of 12 provinces was lower.

The average informatization index of China increased an average of 21.9 per cent annually during the 1998-2000 period.

The rapid increase indicates that the development of informatizaton is playing an increasingly important role in China's economy.

The research results are expected to be of great importance in setting up a national informatization index system; evaluating the informatization level of a country and region; directing the development of informatization in various regions, and helping a country to reach the strategic goal to develop industrialization through the progress of the information industry.

(People's Daily May 8, 2002)

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