The 2021 World Internet Conference Wuzhen summit kicked off on Sunday. Photo: IC
In the water town of Wuzhen, east China’s Zhejiang Province, an annual high-level internet forum showcases China’s best and brightest tech talent, surrounded by voices of confidence and resilience from tech luminaries in the world. country and abroad. The country’s platform economy is seen as gaining in luster, rather than the other way around as Western media are doing, and the new mood has been sustained amid responsible government pressure for greater fairness and accountability. effective innovation.
Chinese President Xi Jinping sent a congratulatory letter to the Wuzhen summit of the World Internet Conference in 2021 on Sunday as it kicked off. He said it was imperative for the international community to join hands to seize the opportunities and meet the challenges by following the trend of computerization and digitization, as well as networking and smart development.
China is willing to work with other countries around the world to make digital civilization benefit the people of all countries and promote the building of a community with a shared future for mankind, Xi said.
The summit provides a rare opportunity to address some of the internet industry’s most pressing issues, such as e-governance and tighter regulation, both of which have captured government attention, especially since the emergence of the Internet. coronavirus.
It should also be noted that an official summit call for renewed support for small and medium-sized enterprises is seen as an example of the tireless efforts of national regulators to put the tech economy on track to foster healthier and higher growth. sustainable.
After experiencing a relatively quiet World Internet Conference in 2020, the Global Times found this year’s event to be full of dynamism again, with the host venue packed with visitors, music and activities. The various venues were packed with visitors, and in the tech experience areas impatient kids lined up, eager to try out different high tech gadgets.
In a virtual speech at the opening ceremony of the conference, Chinese Vice Premier Liu He urged countries around the world to keep infrastructure safe and reliable, protect fair competition, and boost innovation .
“China has the experience and the capacity to manage and control risks. Its development prospects are very promising,” Liu said, reaffirming the country’s support for the healthy development of the private economy, the growing economy. line and digital.
Ignoring repeated explanations clarifying China’s efforts to regulate its burgeoning Internet economy, some Western media and academics have mistakenly interpreted the regulatory measures as “a crackdown.”
“In fact, the Chinese government has attached equal importance to promoting the development and governance of the Internet industry from the very beginning, not this year,” said Wu Hequan, academician at the Chinese Academy. Engineering, to the Global Times at the conference. .
It is “a misinterpretation” that the Chinese government restricts the development of the Internet industry, as if the regulations have profoundly affected the economy, social security and people’s livelihoods, which is not true. not the truth, Wu said.
“We hope that the Internet giants can continue to grow and strengthen themselves, while stimulating the development of small and medium-sized enterprises. [SMEs], “he noted.
Alibaba Group CEO Daniel Zhang Yong echoed Wu at the conference, “The greatest value of the platform economy is in achieving healthy development while helping others achieve their goals. Goals.
It is only when SMEs have vitality that online platforms can have vitality, as can the economy, said Zhang. The e-commerce giant was fined a record $ 2.75 billion for anti-competitive behavior and recently pledged a $ 15 billion plan to boost common prosperity in China.
Lei Jun, CEO of Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi, also called on Big Tech to provide “support and help in all processes for SMEs.”
Over the past year, the Chinese government has strived to bring Big Tech under control, aligning the country with a major global trend that has prevailed in the United States and Europe to prevent internet titans from abusing of their excessive influence in the markets, Cheng Maiyue, director of the Wuzhen Institute, an influential think tank on the Internet industry located in Beijing, told the Global Times on Sunday, opposing claims that the tightening of the country’s regulations go too far.
The country’s approach to internet regulation may be seen as uniquely suited to its own national conditions, but its oversight of giant platforms such as Alibaba, Tencent, and ByteDance is essentially an effort to harness the greed of capital in service. of the public interest, he said.
“A referee is needed to keep the rules of the game in the sphere of interests, with obscure rules to be reformulated. In doing so, the competition will become more robust and there will be continuous innovation.”
It also makes more sense than ever to support effective innovation, industry watchers have said.
This suggests increased efforts to enable underlying innovation, such as neck choking technologies and improved capability facilitating the country’s peak carbon and neutrality goals, rather than incremental changes to business models. – peer-to-peer loans, for example – which seem to succeed as measured by the creation of business value but undermine the sustainable development of the company in predatory ways, according to Cheng.
“Capital must be guided to stay away from such commitments,” he commented, believing that the Chinese government was responsible enough in this regard.
Dixon Dai, founder and chairman of Wetrade Group, an exhibitor at the conference, told the Global Times on Sunday that the potential innovation of internet companies must be relevant to the livelihoods of ordinary people. For example, money or the aged economy.
“Currently, the elderly Chinese have not reaped any tangible benefit from the Chinese digital revolution,” Dai said.
According to a blue book released at the conference on Sunday, the 39.2 trillion yuan ($ 6.06 trillion) digital economy has become a key engine for the steady growth of the world’s second-largest economy. China’s platform economy governance system has established itself and is gradually improving.
It is estimated that by 2025, the scale of China’s information services market will exceed 20 trillion yuan, Yang Jie, chairman of China Mobile, told the conference.
The 2021 World Internet Conference Wuzhen summit kicked off on Sunday. Photo: IC
Improve cybersecurity cooperation
One thing that sets this year’s meeting apart from previous ones is the focus on cybersecurity.
There are a number of sub-forums related to this topic, according to the Global Times. There was a venue specifically designed to showcase cybersecurity companies, with related product solutions, such as Ant Group’s GeaGraph system, which can be used to combat money laundering and cyber fraud.
In his virtual speech, Vice Premier Liu also suggested that cracking down on illegal behavior online should be an area of global cooperation, not a program of recrimination.
While cybersecurity is first and foremost an emerging challenge resulting from advances in science and technology, concerns about its exploitation to sow conflict between countries indicate an extension of the endless wave of rebalancing the world. international politics in the new arena, noted Cheng, a seasoned industry. veteran mentioned above.
China has always taken a cooperative but uncompromising stance on cybersecurity, which means that the country advocates mutual respect in terms of sovereignty and core interests and will not go on the offensive to launch cyber attacks against others. , while he never concedes his cybersecurity results, Cheng mentioned.
In accordance with the country’s data security law, China may adopt equivalent countermeasures against any prohibitive or restrictive measures imposed by any country or region in terms of investment or data-related trade.
China strongly opposes cybercrimes endorsed by or secretly linked to foreign governments that endanger China’s national security, Cheng said, urging efforts to build domestic technological capabilities to deal with such challenges.
Following the cybersecurity review of Chinese ride-sharing giant Didi, Elon Musk told the conference on Sunday that Tesla has set up a data center in China to locate all data generated by the company’s activities. business there, including production, sales, service and recharging.
“All personally identifiable information is stored securely in China without being transferred overseas… I believe that data protection is not just a single company’s business but should be a mutual effort for all. industry players, ”Musk said in a virtual speech Sunday.
Cristiano Amon, Chairman and CEO of Qualcomm, also called for strengthening Sino-US cooperation in cyberspace. “The possibilities at the connected smart edge are limitless and will be best exploited when US and Chinese companies work together to spur innovation to achieve great things. “
On the theme “joining hands to build a community of destiny in cyberspace”, the conference will take place until Tuesday.