Efforts should be made to advance the national big data strategy, improve digital infrastructure, promote integration and sharing of digital resources, and safeguard data security, Chinese President Xi Jinping said during a collective study session of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee's Political Bureau on December 8.
With the rapid progress of information technologies, the big data industry has enjoyed explosive growth. Big data has a profound impact on economic development, society, national governance and people’s lives. Today, almost every country attaches importance to building a digital economy as a way to realize innovation-driven growth. Many have drawn up proactive blueprints in technology research, data sharing and data security.
In recent years, China has made great strides in pioneering a digital economy and exploring a number of new businesses including online shopping, mobile payment and publicly-shared bikes. In 2016, China’s digital economy increased to 22.58 trillion yuan ($3.41 trillion), ranking second in the world.
The ever-evolving information age requires China to make breakthroughs in many aspects such as research and development of core technologies, building a new generation information infrastructure, improving policies and systems to encourage innovation, and cultivating a talent pool. To build a digital economy with data as a key factor, China must integrate the Internet, big data and artificial intelligence (AI) into its real economy.
Big data will also promote the further reform of national governance. It is a new agenda item for the CPC to use big data in improving governance, especially for improving people's wellbeing and ensuring citizens' equitable access to public services.
(This is an edited excerpt of an article published in Xinhua Daily Telegraph on December 11)