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Through digitization, China is improving people’s lives

As China steps up its efforts to digitize the country, digital technologies are widely used and bring digital benefits to more and more people. For many Chinese, digitization scenarios are already an integral part of their daily lives. People can now view real-time traffic information in navigation apps that provide travel time estimates. They can also try on the clothes online on the e-commerce platform, which offers a virtual dressing room for testing clothes. In virtual museums, people can enjoy rare cultural monuments in their homes.

On July 22, 2022, a boy plays Go with a robot developed by Chinese information technology company iFlytek during the 5th Ditigal China Summit. (Chen Bin/Pic.people.com.cn)

In the digital age, everything is connected. In the last decade, the country further strengthened the foundations of digital industrialization and accelerated the process of industrial digitization. The digital economy has grown from 11 trillion yuan in 2012 to 45.5 trillion yuan in 2021. Today, digital technologies are reaching every corner of the country and fundamentally changing the lives of Chinese people.

Over the past ten years, digitization has made people’s lives easier. From 2012 to 2021, Internet penetration in China increased from 42.1% to 73%, and all prefectural cities were covered by optical networks. In addition, all administrative and poverty-stricken municipalities across the country have access to high-speed Internet. As of the end of July, China had 475 million 5G mobile users. The country has already built the largest 5G network in the world.

On July 18, 2022, people participate in a virtual rowing game at an e-sports experience hall in Fuzhou City, southeast China’s Fujian Province. (Xie Guiming/Pic.people.com.cn)

As the digital infrastructure developed by leaps and bounds, new technologies and business models such as the sharing economy, online retail and mobile payments were constantly emerging. Therefore, all aspects of social life benefit from the digitization of the country.

Today, people order food by scanning QR codes and pay bills using facial recognition. Smart parking and waste sorting also make everyday life easier. In rural areas, farmers are selling agricultural products such as black mushrooms from Shaanxi province (in northeast China) and yellow flowers from Shanxi province (in north China) on live streaming platforms as digital technology has accelerated the transition from traditional to smarter agriculture. More and more farmers have seen an increase in income thanks to digitization.

On July 8, 2022, workers adjust the antenna of a 5G base station in Xuba County, Yi’an County, Tongling City, Anhui Province (east China). China. (Guo Shining/Pic.people.com.cn)

Digitization over the past ten years has made services much more convenient for people. Thanks to digital technologies, a new service mode has proliferated in China, represented by online and remote services. In Hainan Province (Southern China), 18 city hospitals, 340 rural health centers and 2,700 village clinics have been equipped with 5G telemedicine equipment. These devices can reduce the average length of patient visits by three to five hours and increase hospital efficiency by 30%.

A series of 5G smart measures such as full 5G site coverage, a visible 5G management platform, and a guest room monitoring system have been implemented in the Guling tourist site in Fuzhou, southeast China’s Fujian Province. Thanks to these measures, traffic increased by 13%.

In Fuzhou City, Jiangxi Province (in Southeast China), students in the village can also benefit from the high-quality education provided in the city through online courses. China has created the world’s largest online education platform and a unified national health insurance information platform. More than 90% of districts and townships can take advantage of remote medical consultation. During this remarkable decade, digital technologies have largely reduced the gap in the uneven distribution of quality services between cities and rural areas and between regions.

Over the past ten years, China has largely optimized the effectiveness of its digital governance. Digital government is an important part of China’s digitization. The application of digital technologies in public services is an effective measure to modernize the management system and capacities, as well as a choice that the country must make to meet the growing public demand for public services.

Nowadays, mobile government service platforms have spread across the country and people can carry out administrative procedures through a single website and in any province of the country. Almost 90% of administrative licenses at the provincial level can be applied for online, and applicants can obtain licenses by visiting the relevant offices at most once without having to travel multiple times. The average processing time has been cut by more than half.

China ranks ninth in the e-Government Index or e-Government Development Index (EGDI) of the United Nations.

By digitizing the country, China will revive the digital economy, increase the efficiency of digital government, optimize the digital environment and digital cooperation, and improve digital security. Digital technologies will definitely benefit society more and give people a sense of fulfillment, happiness and security.

(Ren Guan, People’s Daily reporter)

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