China leads acceleration of global digital economy

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BEIJING, July 6 (Xinhua) -- China has witnessed a significant increase in the size of its digital economy over the past seven years, amid the accelerating development of the global digital economy.

According to a research report released Wednesday at the main forum of the ongoing Global Digital Economy Conference 2023 in Beijing, from 2016 to 2022, the scale of China's digital economy increased by 4.1 trillion U.S. dollars, with a compound annual growth rate of 14.2 percent.

The scale of China's digital economy grew to 50.2 trillion yuan (about 6.96 trillion U.S. dollars) in 2022. The share of the digital economy in the country's GDP rose to 41.5 percent, making it an important engine for stable growth and transformation.

Currently, countries around the world are accelerating the development of key areas of the digital economy, and actively seizing development opportunities in fields such as digital technologies and industries, industrial digitalization and data elements.

For example, by March 2023, 256 network operators in 95 countries and regions had commercialized 5G technology, with 1.15 billion 5G users worldwide and a 30.6-percent population coverage rate of 5G network, an increase of 5.5 percent year on year.

In 2022, the revenue of the global artificial intelligence market climbed to 450 billion U.S. dollars, up 17.3 percent year on year. The number of global digital economy unicorn enterprises reached 1,032, accounting for 74.14 percent of global unicorn enterprises, with an estimated value of 24.95 trillion yuan, according to the report.

Mei Hong, an academician with the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said that China's digital transformation is advancing from the field of consumption and services to the manufacturing sector in the real economy.

Data shows that in 2022, the operating income of China's electronic information manufacturing industry was 15.4 trillion yuan, while the software business made 10.8 trillion yuan and big data industry made 1.57 trillion yuan, laying a solid industrial and technological foundation for the integrated development of informatization and industrialization.

Ahmed Abdel Hafez, chairman of the executive bureau of the Egyptian supreme cybersecurity council, said that China's achievements in the development of the digital economy have attracted worldwide attention. China's opening-up has created development opportunities for other countries, and given them the chance to share the development dividends of China's big market.

Beijing and 18 partner cities, including Abu Dhabi, London, Macao, San Francisco, Vienna, Vientiane and Zaragoza, released the global digital economy partnership city cooperation initiative at the opening ceremony of the conference on Tuesday.

The initiative covers aspects such as accelerating the digital transformation process of cities, green development through digital empowerment, and supporting global digital inclusive cooperation. It aims to build an open innovation network for the digital economy between global cities and within multi-bilateral frameworks.

In 2021, Beijing put forward the development goal of accelerating the construction of a global benchmark city for the digital economy. Data from the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Economy and Information Technology shows that the added value of Beijing's digital economy increased from 871.94 billion yuan in 2015 to 1.7 trillion yuan in 2022, and its share of GDP rose from 35.2 percent to 41.6 percent.

Themed "Data Drives Development, Intelligence Leads the Future," the Global Digital Economy Conference 2023 will conclude on Friday.

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