Number leader. How China is digitizing its economy

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MOSCOW, December 29 – The project “Russia-China: The main thing”.  This “turning point” in the global economy is the result of China’s investment in infrastructure, in particular in the development of 5G networks and other technologies.  For comparison, in the US – only 58 million. In addition, China is actively investing in industrial automation using IoT equipment – the so-called Internet of things.  How China is developing the digital economy – in the material of the project “Russia-China: the main thing”.

Digitization of the economy

“The digital economy has become a key force in the restructuring of the world economy and the transformation of the global competitive environment in recent years. The Internet, big data, cloud computing and other technologies are increasingly integrated into all sectors of economic and social development.” With these words, Chinese President Xi Jinping recently addressed the Politburo of the CPC Central Committee.

Noting that China’s digital economy has developed rapidly and made significant progress since the 18th CPC Congress in 2012, Xi pointed out that since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the digital economy has played an important role in supporting China’s efforts to combat the virus and in economic recovery. .
“The steady growth of the digital economy will help China move forward with the creation of a new development paradigm, will help build a modernized economy and create new competitive advantages for the country in this era,” the head of state stressed.
He is confident that in the future, China needs to become more autonomous in technology development, independently promote innovation, and use the country’s advantages – the socialist system and the huge domestic market – to promote the digital economy.
Xi Jinping stressed that it is necessary to accelerate the construction of new infrastructure in order to create an information “artery” for economic and social development.
In order to promote the integrated development of the digital economy and the real economy, the President called for efforts to “digitize” the manufacturing, service and agricultural sectors, as well as to transform traditional industries with the help of new Internet technologies.

First in the world

China’s digital economy was valued at almost $5.4 trillion in 2020, ranking second in the world. At the same time, its growth rates are the fastest in the world – by 9.6 percent year on year.
According to Zhuang Ronge, director of the China Cyberspace Administration, the coronavirus crisis has made the global economy fragile, and the digital economy in this difficult time has become “the key to realizing economic recovery and promoting sustainable development, as well as a new driver to accelerate high-quality development.”

Electronic payments have almost completely replaced the use of cash.
At the same time, the digital economy still has room for development, and far from everything works perfectly. IN addition, China is still largely dependent on foreign inventions and manufacturers. So, some basic technologies, including integrated circuits, operating systems, software depend on imports.
China’s digital economy has strengths and weaknesses, and the country must take every opportunity to make the sector independent and stable. This is stated in the new plan for the 14th five-year plan and long-term goals until 2035. Thus, the digital economy in the coming years should cover not only the sphere of consumption, but also production.

Today, China’s strengths in the digital economy are concentrated in retail, the sale of goods and services. Developers will have to agree on technical standards and rules for the use of technology that will allow the digital economy to become pervasive and serve the balanced development of Chinese society.

New energy vehicles accounted for almost a fifth of all passenger car sales in November 2021, while they accounted for only 6.2 percent in all of 2020. Today, two of the world’s top five electric vehicle manufacturers are from China.

Despite the impact of the COVID-19 epidemic on the car market, many Chinese enterprises that produce cars using new energy sources are seeing an increase in production. Firstly, this is due to the fact that instead of subsidies, the Chinese authorities have introduced a quota system, according to which at least 12 percent of the production of automakers should be electric cars. Secondly, electric cars are in increasing demand. Thus, sales of electric vehicles in China in November 2021 reached 378 thousand units, which is 122.3 percent more than in November 2020.

In total, at the end of 2021, there were about 7 million new energy vehicles on the roads in China. Among them are not only cars, but also electric buses. To date, 466,000 (66.2 percent) buses in the country are electric.

Successful policy

This success of the electric vehicle industry is largely the result of the successful policy of the authorities. As Vice Premier of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China Han Zheng noted, China has created a developed industry chain that connects all stages of the production of electric vehicles – from metallurgy to engines, batteries and software.
With a clear strategy and generous subsidies, China has been the world’s leading market for electric and hybrid electric vehicles since 2015.