WIC sheds light on Chinese solutions to cyberspace governance

By Manisha Chakraborty
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail China.org.cn, November 11, 2018
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A staff member sings karaoke in a self-driving vehicle named "Apollo" at the fifth World Internet Conference (WIC) in Wuzhen, east China's Zhejiang province, Nov. 7, 2018. [Photo/Xinhua]

With the theme of "Creating a Digital World for Mutual Trust and Collective Governance – Toward a Community with a Shared Future in Cyberspace," the 2018 World Internet Conference (WIC) was held on November 7-9 in Wuzhen, a scenic water town with a long history, in east China's Zhejiang province. 

The WIC, now in its fifth year and better known as the "Wuzhen Summit," is becoming an important platform linking China and the world, and bridging the gap between the developing and the developed countries in the sphere of information sharing.

This year's theme is specifically significant as global trade protectionism is gaining ground and the backlash against the growing globalization trend is bringing many challenges. 

Over the past three days, the conference has been focusing on the development of the digital economy, as well as questions related to cyberspace governance. The 1,500-plus Internet celebrities, experts and scholars present have strongly advocated the significance of openness, sharing and interconnectedness in the virtual world of cyberspace.

There were 19 sub-forums for discussions on key topics such as artificial intelligence, network space governance, 5G technology, the digital divide, privacy in the age of big data, innovation in industrial Internet, countering cyber-terrorism, Internet of Things, cybersecurity, digital economy and more.

In addition, the conference provided a forum for concentrating on issues such as how to bridge the digital gulf between nations and international cyberspace management to further build a community of a shared future in cyberspace.

Undoubtedly, the WIC is a good platform for foreign companies to witness the development of Internet technology in China and promote cooperation in the industrial aspects of the web. This was highlighted on the sidelines by the "Light of the Internet Expo," where Chinese tech firms like Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent and large foreign entities showcased their latest high-tech products. 

Amid the dramatic expansion of e-commerce around the world, since the inaugural WIC 2014, China has been increasing international cooperation in cyberspace governance. 

It has managed to convince the world that its innovation-driven development strategy and the new opportunities are significant for humanity.

China's hosting of the WIC comes as no surprise. According to a report by the China Internet Network Center, the number of web users in China hit 802 million by the end of June this year, up 3.8 percent from six months earlier. This is equal to the total population of the European Union, with an internet penetration rate of 57.7 percent. Encouragingly, 26.3 percent of internet users are living in rural areas. 

On November 8, the WIC released two blue books: "World Internet Development Report 2018" and "China Internet Development Report 2018," providing a view of the current situation and development trends of China's internet development in comparison to other countries.

As more than half of the world's population is online now, building a cyberspace community with a shared future is a pressing demand in this information-led world. 

The Chinese government has long called for enhanced cybersecurity and the establishment of a rules-based order in cyberspace, and its first Cybersecurity Law with 79 articles came into effect on June 1, 2017 to combat cyber terrorism and hacking.

The China-initiated internet summit is important for every country and every organization throughout the globe as all have a shared responsibility to harness the enormous potential of innovation for the benefit of global society as a whole. It is hoped that the WIC will shape the future of our common cyberspace to be shared and governed by all for the healthy development of the internet.

The author is the cultural secretary of New Horizon Radio Listeners' Club, based in West Bengal, India. 

Opinion articles reflect the views of their authors only, not necessarily those of China.org.cn.

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