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China’s Digital Economy Reaches 30% of 2016 GDP

China’s Digital Economy Reaches 30% of 2016 GDPChina’s Digital Economy Reaches 30% of 2016 GDP

China’s digital economy reached 22.58 trillion yuan (about $3.4 trillion) in 2016, ranking second globally and accounting for 30.3% of the national GDP, according to reports issued Monday at the ongoing fourth World Internet Conference in the east China town of Wuzhen.

The two reports, which cover the development of the internet around the world and in China respectively, said 22% of the world’s current GDP is closely related to digital economy that includes techniques and capital, Xinhua reported.

As of June 2017, there were 3.89 billion internet users around the world, of which 751 million were in China, the most of any country worldwide, said the reports.

Compiled by a group of parties led by the Chinese Academy of Cyberspace Studies, the reports cover major areas of internet development, including information infrastructure in China and abroad, online information technology, online security, digital economy, amongst others.

Indexes were also issued at the conference to assess and compare the development of the internet in 38 major countries and emerging economies in the world.

The high-profile attendance of the leaders of Apple and Google at a Chinese conference promoting Beijing’s vision of a censored internet highlights the dilemma for western tech companies trying to expand in an increasingly lucrative but restricted market.

The event in Wuzhen, a historic canal town outside Shanghai, marked the first time chiefs of two of the world’s biggest tech companies have attended the annual state-run World Internet Conference.

In the future, the reports will be issued annually at the WIC, according to Yang Shuzhen, president of the CACS.

The fourth WIC, which runs from Sunday to Tuesday, has the theme “Developing digital economy for openness and shared benefits -- building a community of common future in cyberspace.”

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