China’s digital economy reached 41 trillion yuan ($6.33 trillion) last year, ranking second in the world. It is fair to say that the digital economy has emerged as a new engine for the country’s economic growth.
A report entitled Digital China Development Report (2020) recently released by the Cyberspace Administration of China also indicated that the added value of the digital economy’s core industries also rose to 7.8 percent of the country’s GDP.
According to the report, last year, business revenues from China’s data centers, as well as those concerning cloud computing, big data and the ‘Internet of things’ soared by 22.2 percent, 85.8 percent, 35.2 percent and 17.7 percent, respectively, year-on-year.
The digital economy has led to new business forms and new business patterns, including online education, online medical care, telecommuting, live streaming and online travel, all of which have boomed across the country, bringing a richer and more diversified experience to consumers.
At the World Artificial Intelligence Conference concluded last month, Meituan, China’s food delivery giant, showcased a drone delivery system that is enabled by five self-developed technical capabilities, i.e., those concerning UAVs, navigation control, artificial intelligence algorithms, route management, and communication systems.
It has been reported that as of June this year, drones from Meituan have completed more than 200,000 flight tests and have delivered more than 2,500 orders. At present, they are able to provide standard delivery services within a radius of 3 kilometers and at a maximum length of time of up to 15 minutes.
The outline for the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-2025) underscores boosting digital industries as a major task for the next five years, aiming to raise the GDP proportion of the added value generated by core digital economy industries from 7.8 percent in 2020 to 10 percent in 2025.
In order to achieve this goal, Bai Jinfu, dean of the Institute of the Digital Economy at the Beijing Technology and Business University, believes that it is necessary to reconstruct the industrial system, deepen cooperation in the industrial chain, effectively integrate online and offline resources, and give full play to the advantages of big data and rich application scenarios.