Growth & future of digitalization

BEIJING: A white paper issued by the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology (CAICT) in mid-2022 estimated that China’s digital economy stood at $6.3 trillion in 2021, ranking second only to the United States’ $15-trillion market in the same period.
Information and technology accounts for nearly 40 percent of China’s overall GDP, constituting a doubling of value in the last 10 years.
Digital ubiquity is an astounding and at the same time mundane fact of life in China and its economy. Growing from relative insignificance to 40 percent of GDP in under 20 years is a testament to how rapidly and smartly the country made technological innovation and adoption central to its overall modernization and economic growth.
In the mid-2000s, a perfect storm of factors came together to jumpstart China’s rise as a global technology superpower. And ironically, it was not what China had that made the difference; it was what it didn’t have. It was the blank slate that served the country well.Prior to the year 2000, China had an extremely low rate of personal communication and productivity device penetration, given home phones, home computers and office computers were quite rare at that time, never mind mobile phones. It had virtually no digital retail and consumer infrastructure or culture. Consumers relied almost entirely on cash for purchases (even bringing bundles of renminbi to buy new cars) and the country did not have a modern banking and credit system in place. The almost simultaneous introductions of smartphones, e-commerce and digital payments between 2003 and 2008 ushered in what could have been a 20- to 30-year period of incrementally improved tech economy and compressed it into five years of massive adoption and growth. China’s blank slate proved to be the perfect environment to rewrite the rules of Chinese, and in many cases global, technology, consumption and communication protocols and applications.
–The Daily Mail-Beijing Review news exchange item