China seeks to increase tech’s share of GDP by 2025 with 6G and big data

Under its 14th five-year plan, China plans to increase its support for research and development of 6G or sixth-generation internet. 6G is said to come after the current 5G technology, although no global standard or definition has yet been agreed.

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China aims to increase the share of the digital economy in its gross domestic product by 2025, supported by next-generation technologies such as 6G internet and big data.

The ambition highlights China’s efforts to forge ahead in new technologies as it continues its rivalry with the United States in areas ranging from semiconductors to artificial intelligence.

In a document released last week, China’s State Council, the country’s top executive body, said “the digital economy’s core industries” will account for 10% of its GDP by 2025, up from 7 .8% in 2020.

The targets are part of China’s 14th Five-Year Plan, a development plan that runs from 2021 to 2025. Last year, China highlighted areas of “advanced technology” for which it will boost research and aim for self-sufficiency. document also gives more specific objectives for the coming years.

For example, China is targeting an increase in domestic online retail sales from 11.76 trillion yuan in 2020 to 17 trillion yuan in 2025. It expects the software and technology industry to information increases from 8.16 trillion yuan in 2020 to 14 trillion yuan in 2025.

China predicts that users of gigabit broadband, the fastest internet connection speed currently available, will increase from 6.4 million in 2020 to 60 million in 2025.

In fact, increasing internet connections and speeds is part of China’s strategy to increase the digital economy’s share of GDP.

China will promote commercial deployment and large-scale application of 5G, according to the plan. 5G is about the next generation internet that promises blazing fast speeds. It has already started rolling out in China and other countries.

But Beijing’s plan also presents ambitions in 6G or sixth-generation Internet. China plans to increase support for 6G research and development and participate in creating international standards for 6G. China started laying the groundwork for 6G work in 2019. The fifth generation has only just started rolling out and there are no agreed standards or definitions of what 6G is yet.

The world’s second-largest economy is also aiming to play a bigger role in setting technology standards around the world, a move analysts say could have big implications for the power Beijing wields in areas ranging from mobile internet to artificial intelligence. Standards are often globally agreed technical rules on how technologies work.

Regulation, chips in focus

China’s plan also pursues themes of self-sufficiency in areas such as semiconductors. The document includes other areas such as cloud computing, data center construction and cross-border e-commerce.

Beijing has also pledged to continue regulatory oversight of the domestic tech sector. Over the past year, China has tightened regulation of internet companies and introduced new laws in areas ranging from antitrust to data protection.

The State Council document says it will explore the establishment of governance methods compatible with the “sustainable and healthy development of the digital economy”. Beijing also said it would clarify the responsibilities of different regulators and strengthen collaboration between different authorities.

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