China’s digital economy expanded by 10 percent last year to retain the second-largest position worldwide, according to official data.
Chinese firms engaged in digital services added CNY50.2 trillion (USD7.1 trillion) to China's economy in 2022, up 10 percent from 2021, according to a report the Cyberspace Administration of China released today. Productivity of such firms made up nearly 42 percent of the country’s gross domestic product, up 1.7 percentage points.
The digital economy has become a major driving force for the nation’s economic growth and transition, the internet regulator added.
Still, part of the boost comes from hardware. The industry of electronics manufacturing widened its revenue by almost 6 percent to log CNY15.4 trillion last year. That of cloud computing and Big Data services jumped by 9 percent to CNY1 trillion (USD141.8 billion), and that of integrated circuit design climbed 12 percent to CNY279.7 billion (USD39.7 billion).
Digital businesses are hiking their investments in innovation as well as research and development. The top 100 Chinese internet firms by market capitalization invested CNY338.4 billion in total in R&D last year, up 9 percent, the report revealed.
China has been improving its digital infrastructure. The country had 2.3 million base stations for fifth-generation wireless communications as of December 2022, up by 887,000 from 2021. Data centers expanded by an average annual growth of 30 percent in the past five years to a total of 6.5 million server racks. The country had 1.1 billion internet users as of December, or almost 76 percent of the total population, up by 2.6 percentage points.
China will continue to enhance the construction of digital infrastructure and develop core digital industries such as those linked to industrial internet and artificial intelligence. It will also improve its rules this year to provide the digital economy with a sound business environment, the regulator added.