SCIO briefing on 4th World Internet Conference

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Mr. Ren Xianliang, vice minister of the Cyberspace Administration of China
Ms. Ge Huijun, member of the Standing Committee of the Zhejiang Provincial Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and head of the Publicity Department of the CPC Zhejiang Provincial Committee
Mr. Sheng Yongjun, Secretary of the CPC Tongxiang Municipal Committee in Zhejiang Province

Hu Kaihong, spokesperson of the State Council Information Office of China

Nov. 16, 2017


The theme of the conference is "Developing the Digital Economy for Openness and Shared Benefits." I would like to know why the host decided on such a theme. And can you brief us on the development of China's digital economy? Based on the theme, will there be any different contents we can expect to see in this year's conference? Are there any new cooperative projects? Thank you.

Ren Xianliang:

Let me answer your questions. The G20 Digital Economy Development and Cooperation Initiative, initiated by China at last year's G20 summit, was the first digital economy policy document ever endorsed by the G20 leaders. It has aroused great attention from the international community. At the Second World Internet Conference, President Xi put forward "four principles" and "five proposals", calling for building a community of a shared future in cyberspace.

Over the past two decades since China first fully gained access to the internet in 1994, it has become a giant in the field, developing a brilliant digital economy. The digital economy has emerged as a leader in driving innovative development of the national economy. In 2016, China's digital economic aggregate reached 22.4 trillion yuan, accounting for 30.1 percent of GDP. The volume of e-commerce transactions reached 26 trillion yuan. Online retail business has seen average annual growth of 30 percent. The number of Chinese netizens has reached 750 million. Alibaba and both reported new records in Singles' Day sales last weekend. Trade on Alibaba's Tmall platform hit 168.2 billion yuan during this particular shopping spree, and that at was 127.1 billion yuan. These are world-leading performances.

The highlights of this year's conference can be described as follows. First, highlighting innovation. At the session on cutting-edge technology, which is new this year, attendees can discuss such topics as artificial intelligence and shared economy, addressing the future trend of the global internet. Second, highlighting shared benefits. At the session on the internet and society, we will, following the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, discuss the roles the internet plays in poverty alleviation and disaster reduction as well as the issue of cultural protection. Third, highlighting the expected international impact. This year, we will co-organize some events with the GSM Association and the World Intellectual Property Organization so as to expand international engagement. I think you should pay special attention to the release of the advanced technological achievements at the conference. Last year, we made the first release. This year, we have received many applications for release from innovative companies around the world. Now, we have collected nearly 1,000 advanced technological achievements for shortlisting, and will announce the most innovative, cutting-edge ones at the conference.

Phoenix TV:

Can you tell us which world-famous internet firms will attend the conference? And how has the international community responded to the Chinese approach to internet development? Is there a timetable for companies like Google to come back to China and firms like Facebook to make an entry? Thanks.

Ren Xianliang:

Thank you. The Chinese internet firms Alibaba, Tencent, JD and Baidu-- which are among the top ten internet firms across the globe -- will attend the conference with their respective CEOs, namely, Jack Ma, Ma Huateng (Pony Ma), Robin Li and so on. Foreign firms, like Microsoft, Cisco, Oracle, Qualcomm, Intel, IBM, Bloomberg, Dell and SAP also take the conference very seriously and will send their executives to attend.

As for Google and Facebook, (you can refer to) General Secretary Xi Jinping's pledge at the press conference after the 19th National Congress of the CPC that China would unswervingly open up further. In addition, he also promised to build a cyberspace community of a common future at the Second World Internet Conference. You can see that we are wide open to the world, including the internet sector. We have always been open to foreign internet firms which come to China to share the rewards of China's development and the achievement of China's reform. Of course, we also require and hope that these firms abide by China's rules and regulations, and we will protect their rights accordingly. That's all. Thank you.

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