Giant DC, a data technology company established in north China's Tianjin Municipality three years ago, was previously a leading Chinese heavy machinery manufacturer with decades of expertise.
"There was overcapacity in steel at that time, and with environmental pressure mounting, our company had to embrace the transformation," said Zhang Jian, general manager of Giant DC.
Under the guidance and support of the local government, the company withdrew from the iron and steel industry and transitioned into a digital economy enterprise, with a focus on the construction of internet data centers and the development of businesses such as cloud computing and data services.
According to a research report released in July at the 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 6.99 trillion U.S. dollars) in 2022, with the share of the digital economy in the country's GDP rising to 41.5 percent.
The digital economy has emerged as an important driver of China's economic growth, with numerous traditional Chinese enterprises, such as Giant DC, successfully executing strategic shifts to harness their potential.
ABT Plastics & Electronic (Tianjin) Co., Ltd., a medium-sized enterprise established in Tianjin in 2005, forged cooperation with Chinese cloud service vendor Huawei Cloud to upgrade its aging enterprise resource planning system that had been in use for over a decade.
"This cooperation can help us achieve online production and management, and even connect with the broader social resources outside," said Shang Xiaodong, general manager of the company.
"Cloud-based digital transformation is continuing to grow at a high rate," said Lin Zhiyong, general manager of Huawei Cloud Tianjin office.
An increasing number of Chinese companies are riding the digital wave. As of the end of May, China had established more than 1,700 digital workshops and smart factories, leading the development of the industry. Additionally, over 240 industrial internet platforms with regional and industry influence have also been developed.
Local governments in China are also pursuing the digital economy, constantly issuing policy signals aimed at bolstering its development.
Beijing unveiled the development goal of accelerating the construction of a global benchmark city for the digital economy. Shanghai is striving to achieve more than 600 billion yuan added value of the core industries of the digital economy by 2023. Tianjin plans that by the end of this year, the added value of the digital economy will account for no less than 55 percent of the gross regional product.
Speaking at the Türkiye-China Business Conference held in July, Nail Olpak, president of the Foreign Economic Relations Board of Türkiye, said China is at the forefront of the world in the field of digital economy, and the development and popularization of e-commerce is amazing.
With the world facing the pressure of an economic downturn and the rising unemployment problem, the digital economy offers China an opportunity to unlock its employment potential. In the latest edition of China's National Occupation Classification Code, 97 digital occupations have been identified, accounting for 6 percent of the total.
"Digital technologies are promoting the restructuring of production factors, fostering new industries as well as new business forms and models, creating new jobs, and providing more and better employment choices," said Yang Hui, chairman of the Accumulus, a Tianjin-based sharing economy information consulting company.
According to Yang, in the process of global economic recovery, science and technology can provide a significant boost, with the digital economy poised to emerge as one of the most promising directions for future world economic development.