China’s supreme leader, Xi Jinping has laid out his plans of a digital economy in the country with the 5G network being the backbone while nationwide data management would be the core of this vision.
The president has therefore channeled the forces of technology to serve socio-economic development in the country in order to drive its economy.
China has the second-largest economy in the entire world right behind the United States.
“The development of the digital economy is of great significance, and a strategy to grasp new opportunities in technological revolution and industrial transformation,” President Xi Jinping wrote in a bylined article on Saturday in the Qiushi Journal, the mouthpiece publication of the Communist Party’s Central Committee.
The Quishi essay is quite similar to a speech he had once delivered via the state media back in October where the president’s remarks were pointed at the current and future deployment of China’s technological pursuits.
Also, it put into context the government’s year-long antitrust crackdown on Big Tech companies which has literally wiped out some US$1 trillion of value from their stocks.
China should “cultivate a number of enterprises with international competitiveness, and leading ecological firms with control over industrial chains, to create world-class digital industry clusters,” he wrote. “Compared with [other large] countries, China’s digital economy is big but not strong, fast but not superior.”
Back in October, President Xi spoke on the nation’s digital economy and planned to engage the internet, big data, cloud computing, and artificial intelligence in order to chart the country’s economic future.
There was a blueprint on the digital economy issued by the Chinese government’s cabinet which is pushing for such technological developments. The plan was in line with the country’s 14th five-year plan from the year 2021 to 2025 which is a similar reinforcement issued by the Cyberspace Administration of China.
Covering almost 3,000 Chinese characters, Xi wrote in Qiushi about how he had been closely following China’s technological growth and developments in the digital economy since 2000, before his elevation to the president.
China’s antitrust and cybersecurity crackdown over the years has caused a lot of big tech companies to lose out on tons of money which has also resulted in business and job cuts. With that, many investors are asking whether this crackdown has become too problematic as it’s taken so long.
Xi however believes that the rapid digital economy growth in China over the past couple of years may have led to unhealthy and irregular developments that have breached regulations which have in turn threatened the country’s economic and financial security altogether.
These developments, which “not only affected the healthy development of the digital economy, but violated laws and regulations, and posed a threat to national economic and financial security,” must be “regulated and rectified,” and not be left unchecked, he wrote.
The president also added that regulations and standards are needed to plug regulatory loopholes as well as prevent “monopolies and disorderly expansion of capital” in the country.
He then urged the country to focus on areas of strategic technological significance such as the development of integrated circuits, displays, communication equipment, and intelligent hardware.
The improvement of the country’s national security system and the development of early-warning systems are also expected to be at the forefront according to President Xi all of which are important to developing a stable digital economy in the country.
Regulators and various watchdog agencies should establish what he called “prevention and control” processes to ensure the security of key technologies, vital industrial sectors, and facilities, strategic resources, and leading enterprises, the president wrote.