Besides the Internet giants, the government also plays an important role in promoting the rapid development of the Internet in China. China started its National Information Infrastructure project in the late 1990s, aimed at enabling all regions, including the villages in remote mountainous areas, to get access to the Internet by constructing necessary infrastructure.
Yongxin Village in Liuquan Town, Wuzhong City of northwest China’s Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region is one of the villages that has benefited from the project. After the village was connected to the Internet in 2016, the villagers can now sell their products online, greatly increasing their income.
“Before we could access the Internet, we could not make a profit from the apples and apricots we grew as we did not have channels to sell them,” said village chief Li Wenbin. “Thanks to the Internet, our villagers have a new way of earning money.” Li earned more than 4,000 yuan ($613) by selling his apples last year. He is now considering using the Internet to attract more tourists to his village.
In March 2015, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang put forward the concept of the Internet Plus for the first time in his Report on the Work of the Government, designed to further promote Internet development by connecting the Internet with various industries. Following this, China issued a series of policies and guidelines to promote the development of Internet Plus, including Made in China 2025 and the Mid- and Long-term Plan for Logistics Development (2014-20).
“On the one hand, China’s economic development has provided valuable development opportunities for the Internet; on the other hand, the deep integration of business with the Internet is injecting dynamic vitality and fostering new impetus for China’s economic development,” said Li Yongjian.
He estimated that in 2020, the added value brought by the Internet Plus will exceed 5 trillion yuan ($767 billion). “The economic dividend generated by the Internet Plus will further push China’s economic development to a new level,” he added.
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