China will ramp up resources to make breakthroughs in core and key technologies and speed up the construction of internet infrastructure such as 5G, artificial intelligence and the internet of things in an effort to achieve its goal of high-quality development, a senior government official said.

China will speed up the internet infrastructure

Chen Zhaoxiong, vice-minister of industry and information technology, said that more efforts will be made to promote the deep integration of the internet infrastructure, big data and AI with the real economy as part of the country’s broader push to accelerate the digital and intelligent transformation of traditional industries and foster new economic growth engines.

Chen made the remarks at the 2019 China Internet Conference being held in Beijing from Tuesday to Thursday. He also called for enhancing the capabilities in safeguarding key information internet infrastructure, network data and personal information in a bid to build the nation’s strength in cyberspace.

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He said that the digital economy has become a new engine for economic growth, and the convergence of the digital and real economies is gaining momentum. “We should also narrow the digital divide and strengthen international cooperation in a bid to promote the construction of a ‘digital Silk Road’,” Chen added.

A booming digital economy is reshaping China’s economic landscape as technologies such as artificial intelligence, big data and cloud computing are reviving traditional industries and promoting high-quality development.

China’s digital economy was worth 31.3 trillion yuan ($4.5 trillion) in 2018, accounting for 34.8 percent of the nation’s GDP, according to the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology.

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Wu Hequan, an academician at the Chinese Academy of Engineering and president of the Internet Society of China, said the country is expected to begin large-scale commercial use of 5G wireless technology next year, which could be applied in the fields of industrial internet, healthcare, self-driving vehicles, agriculture and virtual reality.

“5G is a rare opportunity for China’s technological and economic development,” said Wu, adding 5G marks the beginning of a new chapter in China’s internet development history.

China officially approved 5G commercial services last month, and is currently testing the technology across major cities and provincial regions.

Facing rapidly increasing cyberattacks on their online data, Chinese companies need to beef up their input in cybersecurity, said Qi Xiangdong, chairman of Chinese security company Qi An Xin Group.

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“Along with the rapid development of 5G, IoT, AI and other emerging technologies, (annual) revenue of the cybersecurity sector will surpass one trillion yuan in a decade,” Qi said.

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