China Center for International Economic Exchanges

A speech delivered by Zhang Xiaoqiang at the Seminar: The Digital Economy in China and the United States
Date:Dec 27,2017    Source:CCIEE

Dear guests, good morning!

It is with gratifying pleasure that with the joint efforts of China Center for International Economic and Exchanges and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the first seminar on Digital Economy in China and the United States under the framework of the US-China CEO and Former Senior Officials’ Dialogue is launched today.

So far, nine rounds of the second track dialogue have been held in Beijing and Washington alternately since it was initiated in 2011. This platform gives the business leaders and officials an opportunity to conduct frank exchanges, provide policy proposals to the two governments and thus, it has played a great role in promoting a healthy and stable development of the US-China economic and trade relations. A joint statement was issued at the 9th US-China CEO and Former Senior Officials’ Dialogue, held in Beijing last June, recommending that the two countries should further strengthen their cooperation in such fields as high-tech and the Internet-based economy.

In early November, the U.S. President Trump visited China, the two sides signed 253.5 billion dollars worth of trade contracts and investment projects, including high-tech projects such as electronic information.

The National Congress of the 19th CPC Central Committee pointed out that it is necessary to continue the construction of a digital China, a network powerhouse and promote the integration of the Internet, big data, artificial intelligence and the real economy. Indeed, great progress has been made in China’s digital economy over recent years. According to the statistics of Tencent Research Institute, China’s digital economy grew by 16.6% in 2016, about 3.4 trillion U.S. dollars, equivalent to 30% of the GDP. The E-commerce transactions accounted for about 40% of the world’s total, consumers’ mobile payment transactions reached 790 billion US dollars, ranking the first in the world. At the same time, the “Chinese Uber” and sharing bike have gained rapid development. At the end of last year, China Mobile subscribers exceeded 1.3 billion, of which nearly 900 million were 4G subscribers. On this year’s “single’s day”, China’s e-commerce group Alibaba, JingDong and other platforms’ turnover reached about 38 billion U.S. dollars, reaching a new record of more than 1.3 billion packages being delivered.

The United States has the highest level of science and technology development in the world. It is also a strong player in the digital economy and electronic information technology, and the number one network power. The internet power index created by some research institutes indicates that the US stands at 84, making it the leader of the league, followed by the second tier countries like Japan, South Korea, France and Australia; with a value of 54, China lies at the back of the second tier. Today’s conference participants like Microsoft, Cisco, Qualcomm are leaders in their respective fields. According to preliminary statistics, the online sales of the largest 100 retailers sold more than 15 billion U.S. dollars of goods on this year’s Black Friday and the following Cyber Monday, a year-on-year increase of nearly 20%; 40% of the U.S. consumers’ online shopping was done through mobile phones, 11 percentage points higher than last year.

The information above shows that the progress of science and technology, represented by the new generation of information technology is pushing economic and social development into a new period. New technologies like the fifth generation of mobile communications, the next generation of Internet, Internet of Things, big data, cloud computing, artificial intelligence have played an increasingly important role in today’s world. The US and China have complementary advantages in certain fields and huge potential for win-win cooperation. Of course, competition always comes with cooperation. With the rapid development of the information society and the digital economy, it is also vital to ensure information security and we should gradually improve the supervision over the digital economy. The international community needs to enhance cooperation and make joint effort in protecting intellectual property rights and developing international technical standards. China will actively promote further liberalization, including strengthening its innovation capability and enhancing cooperation in science and technology. Meanwhile, we also hope that the United States will be open-minded and promote win-win cooperation.

Today, we have invited a group of entrepreneurs, representatives of professional associations, and experts in the field of digital economy from China and the United States to jointly discuss the development of the digital economy. The officials of the High-tech Division at China’s National Development and Reform Commission, and Ministry of Commerce are also here to interpret relevant policies. I believe that you all will have frank discussions and I wish the symposium a complete success.


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