China’s Top Economic Official Liu He Voices Support for Tech Sector

Chinese Vice Premier and top economic official Liu He said at a meeting held in Beijing on Tuesday that the government will support the sustained and healthy development of the platform economy and the private economy, and will support digital enterprises to pursue public listings in domestic and foreign capital markets.

Liu spoke at the meeting with a proclaimed theme “promoting the sustained and healthy development of the digital economy,” convened by China’s top political consultative body, the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC). As soon as the news emerged, the stock prices of several leading Chinese tech firms increased, with, Alibaba, and Bilibili all rising around 7%.

Nearly 100 CPPCC members attended the special consultation. Robin Li, founder of Baidu, pointed out that in the past few years, the digital economy has played a driving role in China’s economic growth, but its growth has slowed down in the past two years, and its future development requires new energy.

Li suggested strengthening the intelligent transformation of infrastructure and changing institutional obstacles that hinder the process of industrial digitalization. For example, at present, unmanned vehicles are a new field for the global automobile industry competition. However, the integration of artificial intelligence and automobile industry in China still faces many policy obstacles. In addition to that, Li proposed giving full play to the value of data, ensuring its access for innovators.

The China Internet Report 2021 released in September of last year shows that the scale of China’s digital economy will reach 39.2 trillion yuan ($6.09 trillion) in 2020, accounting for 38.6% of national GDP, maintaining a high growth rate of 9.7%, and becoming the key driving force for stable economic growth.

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In January of this year, the Chinese State Council issued the “Digital Economy Development Plan,” part of the country’s 14th Five-Year Plan period. According to the document, by 2025, the added value of core industries in the digital economy will account for 10% of national GDP, compared to 7.8% in 2020.