A staff member displays a smart mirror at the China International Digital Economy Expo 2021 in Shijiazhuang, north China's Hebei Province, Sept. 7, 2021. (Xinhua/Wang Xiao)
BEIJING, Dec. 16 (Xinhua) -- 2021 is not only the first year of China's 14th Five-Year Plan period (2021-2025), but also the crucial year to realize the objective of "creating new advantages of the digital economy".
In 2021, China's digital economy has yielded fruitful results, becoming a new growth engine for the high-quality economic development.
Meanwhile, China is also building up international communication and cooperation platforms for the digital economy and sparing no effort to promote international cooperation on infrastructure construction, digital transformation, e-commerce, global standardization, and international exchange of professionals.
-- China's digital economy constantly empowered by new growth drivers
Data shows that China's digital economy ranks the second in the world, and China has built the world's largest fiber optic network and 4G network.
In the first half of this year, the revenue of pillar industries of China's digital economy witnessed a 34.2 percent increase year on year, 3.6 percentage points higher than that in the first quarter, representing a positive growth trend of the digital economy in China.
During the same period, China saw a year-on-year increase of 8.7 percent in telecommunications revenue and a year-on-year increase of 23.2 percent in the revenue of software and information technology services.
New business models such as IPTV, internet data center, big data, cloud computing and artificial intelligence (AI) are speeding up their process of industrialization.
According to statistics, in the first six months of this year, new services have become the fastest-growing services in the telecommunications industry, with a year-on-year increase of 27 percent. Among them, cloud computing and big data have caught much attention as their year-on-year growth rates reached 96.7 percent and 31.3 percent respectively, making them real "front-runners".
Meanwhile, a series of supporting policies for the digital economy have been actively introduced in China. According to a three-year action plan for the new data center development recently released by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), by the end of 2021, the national average utilization rate of data centers will be increased to more than 55 percent.
The digital economy has become a major development objective and new growth engine in many regions in China.
The local government of southwest China's Chongqing Municipality pledged by 2025, its digital economy scale will exceed 1 trillion yuan, while southwest China's Sichuan Province clarified that the digital economy of the province will reach over 3 trillion yuan and account for 43 percent of its GDP by 2025.
North China's Tianjin Municipality proposed a "digital Tianjin" plan, raising the added value of its digital economy to over 55 percent of its regional GDP by 2023.
-- China's booming digital economy brings opportunities to the world
China's booming digital economy has become a key field in international cooperation.
In November this year, China filed a formal application to join the Digital Economy Partnership Agreement (DEPA), which will help China enhance the competitiveness and influence in digital economy.
"China enjoys the leading position in digital economic development in the world. The contribution of digital economy to GDP has surpassed other major industries," said Liu Ying, a researcher of Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies of Renmin University of China, adding that as the largest trader in goods, the second largest trading nation in services and the second biggest economy in the world, China's joining will significantly improve the global influence and attraction of the DEPA.
Meanwhile, the prosperous development of China's digital economy has brought more international cooperation in infrastructure, e-commerce and international standardization.
China is actively helping African countries bridge the "digital gap". By far, over 1,500 enterprises in 17 cities across 15 African countries have cooperated with Chinese enterprises in digital transformation, and 29 African countries have applied the smart governance services provided by Chinese enterprises.
Experts and business representatives hold that the deepening cooperation in digital economy between China and Africa will facilitate the fast progress of Africa's Internet economy.
As an important carrier of strengthening information connectivity, China-ASEAN digital cooperation covers fields such as big data, artificial intelligence (AI), smart city and 5G.
To meet the booming demand for China-ASEAN digital economic cooperation, the two sides are speeding up the construction of the China-ASEAN Digital Trade Center in south China's Nanning. It is learned that the center will attract a total investment of nearly 25 billion yuan, and is expected to be home to at least 20,000 enterprises.
"ASEAN is a magnet for digital economic development," said Deng Xijun,Chinese ambassador to ASEAN, adding that the total market size of digital economy in China and ASEAN will reach 9.58 trillion U.S. dollars, which will provide a broad space for both sides to expand cooperation.
Experts forecast that by 2025, China's digital economy is expected to account for over 50 percent of its total GDP. Some institutions also predict that by 2023, the output of the world's digital economy will account for 62 percent of the global GDP.
(Edited by Jiang Feifan with Xinhua Silk Road, firstname.lastname@example.org)