The central government hopes to drive surging growth in China’s information consumption sector over the next several years.
China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) and the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) jointly released the “Three Year Action Plan for Expanding and Upgrading Information Consumption (2018 – 2020)” (扩大和升级信息消费三年行动计划（2018—2020年）) last week, calling for at least 11% per annum growth in information consumption in China to hit 6 trillion yuan (approx. USD$870 billion) by 2020.
By 2020 the Action Plan wants 98% of China’s administrative counties to enjoy fiber-optic connections and 4G internet coverage, greatly enhancing internet speeds while reducing costs.
The Plan also sees the creation of a raft of new-model “information consumption demonstration cities,” as well as the promotion of the Chinese government’s “Internet Plus” concept in the areas of healthcare, aged care, education and culture.
Official data indicates that in 2017 China’s information consumption market was worth 4.5 trillion yuan, while in the first half of 2018 internet and related service industry posted growth in operating revenues of 22.8%.
“Information consumption is the one emerging consumer area which is seeing the most flourishing innovation, the most rapid growth, and the broadest influence,” said a senior MIIT official to state-owned media.
“It is playing an important role in driving domestic consumption, spurring employment and guiding industry upgrades.
“Upgrading information consumption is of benefit to optimising the economic structure and bringing broad benefits to social welfare.”