China Unveils Policies to Accelerate Digital Economy Development


China hopes to accelerate the growth of its digital economy with the launch of coordinated policies at both the central and provincial government levels.

Nearly 20 of China’s 26 province-level administrative entities have unveiled specialist policies for the digital economy, leading to the formation of a “state-province two-tier policy system” according to a report from Economic Information Daily.

These provinces include:

  • Heilongjiang in the north-east, which recently unveiled a policy for the creation of a “Digital Heilong” by 2025;
  • Shandong province, which wants the digital economy to account for no less than 45% of province-wide GDP by 2022;
  • Fujian province, with the launch of a “digital economy leadership campaign,” and plans to launch a digital economy demonstration. Fujian province recently executed contracts for 41 digital economy project worth total investment of 58.7 billion yuan, including a Baidu artificial intelligence project and a driverless smart manufacturing industry base;
  • Shanxi province, with plans for “comprehensive deepening of digital integration and application, and transforming the digital economy into a new engine for economic growth;”
  • The launch of the Xinjiang Gaoxin Digital Industry Park (新疆高新数字产业园) by Xinjiang province on 8 August to attract leading digital economy companies and resources within China. The park includes the creation of a “5G edge computing application scenario lab.”
  • Zhejiang province has executed major cooperative contracts for 28 digital economy areas including integrated circuits, artificial intelligence and the industrial internet, worth total investment of 30.335 billion yuan. Zhejiang province is also involved in the implementation of 100 “major digitization projects,” 5000 “AI technology upgrade projects,” and the creation of 100 “unmanned workshops” and “unmanned factories.”

The second half will see the spread of policies to third and fourth tear cities as well as county areas, and the “comprehensive” launch of large-scale digital economy projects.

China’s digital economy currently accounts for an estimated one-third of national GDP, while sources from the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) and the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) said that they will “accelerate the establishment of a digital economy policy system and implement major digital economy and ‘Internet +’ projects.”

These projects will involve the “in-depth integration of the internet, big data and artificial intelligence with the real economy, expediting the digitisation of industry and the industrialisation of digital, accelerating the digitisation of primary, secondary and tertiary industries, expanding the new room for the digital economy, and continually forming new growth points and drivers.”