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High-tech industries sustain economic momentum

Jul. 17, 2020

High-tech industries and emerging digital technologies are gaining traction and playing a key role in shoring up the economy, boosting employment, and fostering high-quality development despite challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic and global economic downward pressure, said industry insiders.

Added value of the high-tech manufacturing sector rose by 4.5 percent on a yearly basis during the first six months of this year, accounting for 14.7 percent of the added value of industrial enterprises above a designated size, up 0.9 percentage point on a yearly basis, the National Bureau of Statistics said on Thursday.

According to the NBS, investment in high-tech manufacturing industries and high-tech services rose by 5.8 percent and 7.2 percent during the first six months on a yearly basis. In terms of high-tech services, the investment on e-commerce services rose by 32 percent on a yearly basis.

Meanwhile, the country is speeding up the construction of new infrastructure, such as 5G networks and data centers, and sales of products related to this segment rose rapidly, with the output of urban railway vehicles and charging piles increasing by 13 percent and 11.9 percent on a yearly basis in the first six months.

Xiang Ligang, director-general of the Information Consumption Alliance, a telecom industry association, said the rapid growth of emerging industries and digital technologies, such as artificial intelligence, cloud computing and big data, has helped prevent and control the contagion and also played a key role in ensuring the country's high-quality development.

"Accelerating the rollout of new infrastructure that covers a number of key fields including transportation, energy and telecommunications will inject new impetus into the economy, and accelerate the digital transformation of traditional industries," Xiang said.

Meanwhile, China's e-commerce industry continued to thrive. The NBS said online retail sales of physical goods increased by 14.3 percent, accounting for 25.2 percent of the total retail sales of consumer goods, 5.6 percentage points higher than that of the same period last year.

Jiang Hao, a partner at consultancy firm Roland Berger, said the continued investment in high-tech and intelligent infrastructure segments, such as 5G and AI, will help improve social efficiency, boost productivity and foster innovative business models.

Chen Liteng, an analyst at the Internet Economy Institute, a domestic consultancy, said online education, online healthcare, sharing economy and other emerging industries will become the key driving forces for bolstering employment, stimulating investment and propping up consumption.