In­ter­net growth to aid poverty re­duc­tion

China Daily (USA) - - CHINA - ByWANG YANFEI wangyan­fei@chi­nadaily.com.cn

China’s in­ter­net watch­dog is­sued a guide­line on Wed­nes­day for IT devel­op­ment over the next decade, and set poverty re­duc­tion as one of its key goals.

“China has the largest num­ber of in­ter­net users in the world, and there are huge un­tapped op­por­tu­ni­ties in the in­dus­try,” said XuYu, anof­fi­cial with the Of­fice of the Cen­tral Lead­ing Group for Cy­berspace. “It should play a greater role in poverty al­le­vi­a­tion and eco­nomic devel­op­ment.”

Zhang Feng, chief engi­neer of the Min­istry of In­dus­try and In­for­ma­tion Tech­nol­ogy, said that China would take more mea­sures to boost in­fra­struc­ture to en­sure that by the end of 2020 all res­i­dents in ru­ral ar­eas will be able to get an in­ter­net fiber con­nec­tion at home and are able to en­joy the eco­nomic op­por­tu­ni­ties brought by the IT in­dus­try.

Irene Bain, so­cial sec­tor spe­cial­ist at the Asian Devel­op­ment Bank, said at a fo­rum in Bei­jing ear­lier this month that cul­ti­vat­ing small busi­nesses in ru­ral ar­eas via e-com­merce could cre­ate more job op­por­tu­ni­ties to counter wor­ries that fewer job op­por­tu­ni­ties would be opened amid down­ward eco­nomic pres­sure.

Data from Bei­jing-based iRe­search Con­sult­ing Group shows that the value of e-com­merce trans­ac­tions stood at 16.4 tril­lion yuan ($2.5 tril­lion) in 2015, nearly triple that of five years ago.

Busi­ness-to-busi­ness, on­line shop­ping and on­line travel are the top three seg­ments bol­ster­ing the swelling in­dus­try, ac­cord­ing to the con­sult­ing group.

Xu said the in­dus­try will be able to help the na­tion achieve its poverty re­duc­tion goal by the end of 2020, as the na­tion now faces “tougher chal­lenges in the last mile”.

China’s lat­est Five-Year Plan (2016-20) has in­cor­po­rated the goal of lift­ing 55 mil­lion peo­ple out of poverty by 2020.

Xu Yu, fromthe Of­fice of the Cen­tral Lead­ing Group for Cy­berspace

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