China focuses on finance, technology and farms in 12-sector digital drive for real economy by 2026

By 2026, according to the draft plan, China will have more than 300 “conventional” data applications, some data application delineation zones and an array of “innovative and influential” data providers and third-party agencies. The final document is yet to be published.

Beijing is launching an AI platform to meet the country's growing demand for computing power

“We aim to fully exploit the value of data and provide solid support for high quality [economic and social] development,” NDA Vice President Shen Zhulin said in Beijing on Friday.

„We selected 12 industries and sectors based on their foundations, application scenarios and various demands,” Shen said. „We have consulted with other government departments, experts and institutions and will adjust the plan in due course to reflect community feedback.”

The 12 areas of focus are Industrial Production, Modern Agriculture, Trade, Transport, Financial Services, Technological Innovation, Culture and Tourism, Medical Care and Health, Emergency Management, Weather Services, Smart City Management and Green and Low Carbon Economy.

The digitization drive includes smart manufacturing to improve industrial and regional integration, consolidation of agricultural production and sharing of tax and industry data with financial institutions for better credit checks by banks. Furthermore, scientific and research data will be opened up to power technological innovations and larger AI models, such as those that power key chatbots such as OpenAI's ChatGPT.

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How does China's AI stack up against ChatGPT?

How does China's AI stack up against ChatGPT?

The NDA was launched in October amid rumblings in party and government organizations since March, as Beijing outpaces the US and other Western rivals in setting norms and standards in artificial intelligence and the digital economy. The digital economy has taken on added importance as Beijing looks for new ways to move up the industrial value chain and leverage US-led growth. Technical suffocation.

The NDA, which carries out many functions of China's cyberspace administration and is the country's top cyber watchdog, is tasked with driving digital development by supporting the creation of maps, the introduction of unified standards for data sharing, and the digitization of public services.

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China's digital economy was worth 50.2 trillion yuan (US$7.07 trillion) last year, accounting for 41.5 percent of national GDP. But the sector's rapid growth has brought management and regulatory challenges. For example, around 15 government agencies are responsible for data regulation and management, resulting in bureaucratic red tape and inefficiency.

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