China's journey down the digital highway

By Sajjad Malik
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, April 22, 2021
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Photo taken on Nov 26, 2020 shows a 5G-themed exhibition held during the World 5G Convention in Guangzhou, south China's Guangdong province. [Photo/Xinhua]

The 4th Digital China Summit, which is scheduled to be held on April 25-26 in Fuzhou, Fujian province, is another manifestation of China's rapid journey down the digital highway to transform its economy and society by creating win-win opportunities for all. 

Under the theme of "New Potential for Data and New Journey of Digital China," the summit will boost communication on theories, experiences and practices of e-governance and the digital economy. It will also promote cooperation with global partners in the development of Digital China and the Digital Silk Road. 

Organizers announced that for the first time, China's ministries and state-owned enterprises (SOEs) will host multiple sub-forums on digital villages, the Digital Silk Road, new urban infrastructure, the digital transformation of SOEs, cyber-security and information security. 

The construction of Digital China is among the top priorities of the summit's development, with the concept embedded in the Outline of the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-2025) for National Economic and Social Development and the Long-Range Objectives Through the Year 2035. The summit is also part of efforts to crystalize the national spirit in order to achieve the goal of full digitization.

A lot of work has already been carried out in this regard. China has especially focused on putting in place infrastructure, which has led to construction of the world's largest fiber-optic system and 4G network. The number of internet users in the country jumped from 688 million in 2015 to 989 million by 2020, while the internet penetration rate increased from 50% to 70% during the same period. 

In terms of 5G network development, China has built nearly 720,000 5G base stations and connected more than 200 million 5G terminals. The robust development of the technology will help transform the country's digital landscape. 

Innovation is the name of the game in today's world. China is conscious of this and is working hard in this field, which is why the country's Global Innovation Index jumped from 29th place in 2015 to 14th place by the end of 2020. It has been putting together new formats and models at a fast pace, with the value added to the core capacity of the digital economy accounting for 7.8% of GDP by the end of 2020.

E-commerce is another important area of digitization. China's global ranking on e-government development index improved by 20 places compared with 2018, while its online service index climbed to ninth place globally.

The 4th Digital China Summit aims to reinforce ongoing efforts by providing a platform to release key information about development policies and showcasing the country's latest achievements in the digital field. The event provides an occasion for other nations to join the drive and become partners in building a digital world.  

When China sets goals, it is serious about accomplishing them. It achieved victory in its fight against poverty and successfully built a moderately prosperous society in all respects within 100 years of the founding of the Communist Party of China. China's digitization drive aims to build a digital culture and should not be seen in isolation. It is part of a holistic and gigantic effort to achieve the second centenary goal of building a modern socialist country that is prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced and harmonious by 2049. 

Sajjad Malik is a columnist with For more information please visit:

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