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Reuters urges China to take measures against “healthy” development of digital economy

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A giant screen sees Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Sixth Plenary Session of the 19th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) in Beijing, China, on November 11, 2021. REUTERS / Tingshu Wang

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – President Xi Jinping has called for better regulation and governance of China’s digital economy to protect it from its “healthy” development, as Beijing seeks to increase the sector’s contribution to the country’s growth.

In an essay on the Communist Party government’s Qiushi publication on Saturday, Xik called for focus on key areas, including integrated circuits, displays, communications equipment and smart hardware.

China “should work with a number of internationally competitive companies and leading green companies with control over industrial chains to create global digital industry clusters,” he said.

“We need to see that compared to the big, strong countries in the digital economy in the world, China’s digital economy is big but not strong, and fast but not bigger.”

Xi also called for regulation and standardization to cover regulatory loopholes and prevent “monopolies and disorderly expansion of capital” in the world’s second-largest economy.

“In its rapid development, China’s digital economy has grown and shown unhealthy and erratic trends, affecting the healthy development of the digital economy, violating laws and regulations and posing a threat to national economic and financial security.” he said.

China should also improve its national security system by focusing on the early warning of the digital economy, strengthening prevention and control systems to ensure the security of key technologies, important industries and facilities, strategic resources and key companies.

Xi’s attempt follows a plan released by China’s cabinet on Wednesday for the development of the digital economy, which aims to increase its share of the sector’s national GDP by promoting technologies such as 6G and big data centers.

The plan also highlighted challenges such as a lack of innovation capacity and weak governance in key areas.

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