Dig­i­tal Eco­nom­ics of To­mor­row

China Pictorial (English) - - News - Text by Zhang Xue

Cur­rently, 22 per­cent of global GDP is closely linked to the dig­i­tal econ­omy.

De­vel­op­ing the dig­i­tal econ­omy has be­come a com­mon goal of many coun­tries to en­hance global com­pet­i­tive­ness, ac­cord­ing to the World In­ter­net de­vel­op­ment re­port 2017, is­sued at the 4th World In­ter­net Con­fer­ence (WIC).

A new tech­no­log­i­cal and in­dus­trial revo­lu­tion dom­i­nated by in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy is in full force, and the dig­i­tal econ­omy is be­com­ing the new driv­ing force of global eco­nomic growth.

From De­cem­ber 3 to 5, 2017, the 4th WIC was held in Wuzhen, a wa­ter town in east­ern China’s Zhe­jiang Province.

Dur­ing the event, heads of in­ter­na­tional or­ga­ni­za­tions, lead­ing in­ter­net en­trepreneurs, ex­perts and schol­ars fo­cused their minds on the theme of “De­vel­op­ing Dig­i­tal Econ­omy for Open­ness and Shared Ben­e­fits—build­ing a Com­mu­nity of Com­mon Fu­ture in Cy­berspace” and shared ideas on the fu­ture de­vel­op­ment of the dig­i­tal econ­omy.

Build­ing a Com­mu­nity of Shared Fu­ture in Cy­berspace

The idea of “build­ing a com­mu­nity of shared fu­ture in cy­berspace” was first pro­posed by Chi­nese Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping in De­cem­ber 2015, when he ad­dressed the open­ing cer­e­mony of the 2nd WIC.

It was stressed again by Xi in his con­grat­u­la­tory let­ter to the 4th WIC, with “four prin­ci­ples” and “five propo­si­tions” on in­ter­net gov­er­nance.

To­day, global in­ter­net gov­er­nance re­form has reached a key turn­ing point. A new round of tech­no­log­i­cal and in­dus­trial revo­lu­tion led by in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy is boom­ing, in­ject­ing strong im­pe­tus into so­cial and eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment.

Mean­while, the de­vel­op­ment of the in­ter­net has posed many new chal­lenges for the sovereignty, se­cu­rity and de­vel­op­men­tal in­ter­ests of many coun­tries. Build­ing a com­mu­nity of shared fu­ture in cy­berspace has in­creas­ingly be­come the com­mon goal of in­ter­na­tional so­ci­ety.

In his con­grat­u­la­tory let­ter, Pres­i­dent Xi noted that China hopes to work with the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity to re­spect cy­berspace sovereignty and fos­ter the spirit of part­ner­ship to jointly ad­vance de­vel­op­ment, safe­guard se­cu­rity, par­tic­i­pate in gov­er­nance and share ben­e­fits.

By do­ing so, the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity can bet­ter seize op­por­tu­ni­ties and min­i­mize harm brought by the de­vel­op­ment of the in­ter­net, so that it can ben­e­fit peo­ple of all coun­tries.

Cut­ting-edge Tech on Dis­play

Dur­ing a re­lease cer­e­mony for the world’s lead­ing in­ter­net sci­en­tific and tech­no­log­i­cal achieve­ments on De­cem­ber 3, 18 cut­ting-edge prod­ucts and tech­nolo­gies wowed spec­ta­tors, such as the 3GPP 5G pre-com­mer­cial sys­tem from Chi­nese tele­com gi­ant Huawei, the Xiaoice, Mi­crosoft’s emo­tion com­put­ing-based chat­bot, the Bei­dou Nav­i­ga­tion Satel­lite Sys­tem, Mo­bike’s dock­less smart bike shar­ing

sys­tem and Ap­ple’s AR Kit, over 60 per­cent of which were de­vel­oped by Chi­nese teams.

It should be noted that most of the sta­teof-the-art prod­ucts and tech­nolo­gies are based on the de­vel­op­ment of ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence (AI), which has un­doubt­edly be­come a driv­ing force of in­ter­net de­vel­op­ment and is sure to re­main so in the near fu­ture.

Thus, dis­cus­sion of AI be­came a ma­jor high­light of the con­fer­ence. For ex­am­ple, will AI take away jobs? Will it in­ten­sify im­bal­anced eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment in some coun­tries? And how would AI help hu­mankind?

Jack Ma, founder and chair­man of Alibaba Group, posited that via AI de­vel­op­ment over the last three decades, hu­mans have man­aged to re­place a con­sid­er­able vol­ume of man­ual la­bor with ma­chines, and pre­dicted that in the next three decades, ma­chines would be­come far more in­tel­li­gent. But he hopes that even­tu­ally we make ma­chines act more like ma­chines and hu­mans more hu­man.

Ap­ple CEO Tim Cook, who also at­tended the con­fer­ence, stressed that tech­nol­ogy is the most pow­er­ful driv­ing force of in­no­va­tion, but it is the task of ev­ery hu­man be­ing to make it more hu­mane. “We all have to work to in­fuse tech­nol­ogy with hu­man­ity, with our val­ues,” he said. In­ter­net-driven Poverty Al­le­vi­a­tion

Poverty re­duc­tion is a global con­cern. The rise of the in­ter­net has en­hanced tra­di­tional poverty al­le­vi­a­tion ef­forts with the power of mod­ern sci­ence and tech­nol­ogy, fa­cil­i­tat­ing many new mod­els.

At the “Shar­ing of Div­i­dends: In­ter­netDriven Poverty Al­le­vi­a­tion” Fo­rum, held on De­cem­ber 4 as part of the 4th WIC, rep­re­sen­ta­tives from in­ter­na­tional or­ga­ni­za­tions and coun­tries around the world ex­changed ideas on poverty al­le­vi­a­tion.

Many real sto­ries about poverty al­le­vi­a­tion were shared and new strate­gies pro­posed, in­clud­ing im­prov­ing in­ter­net ac­cess for peo­ple in ru­ral ar­eas, es­tab­lish­ing a na­tional big data plat­form for poverty al­le­vi­a­tion and de­vel­op­ing ru­ral e-com­merce.

Presently, broad­band cov­er­age in China’s ru­ral ar­eas has ex­panded to 86 per­cent and the poverty rate shrunk to four per­cent. The re­main­ing poor are gain­ing in­creas­ing ac­cess to the in­ter­net, through which they are lift­ing them­selves out of poverty by sell­ing agri­cul­tural prod­ucts at higher prices and bet­ter ed­u­cat­ing their chil­dren.

By shar­ing Chi­nese ex­pe­ri­ences and so­lu­tions, China is con­tribut­ing wis­dom to the global cause of poverty re­duc­tion.


De­cem­ber 2, 2017: Vis­i­tors in­ter­act with a doc­tor through a smart home ter­mi­nal at the Light of In­ter­net Ex­po­si­tion in Wuzhen, east­ern China's Zhe­jiang Province. The expo, fea­tur­ing 411 renowned in­ter­net en­ter­prises from home and abroad, wit­nessed the launch of 118 new prod­ucts and 10 meet­ings on in­ter­net project co­op­er­a­tion.

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