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The Rise of China’s Digital Economy during the COVID-19 Crisis

Author Cho Eunkyo(조은교) Date 2021.02.26 Series
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Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Chinese government has been focusing its efforts on fostering the digital economy by emphasizing digital technologies such as artificial intelligence, cloud computing, big data and 5G.
President Xi Jinping stressed the need to expand artificial intelligence and 5G technologies in response to COVID-19, noting “the proliferation of COVID-19 is a challenge and opportunity for industrial development.”
According to the China Institute of Information and Communication, China’s digital economy accounted for about 34.8 percent of its gross domestic product, at 31.3 trillion CNY as of 2018. In addition, from 2016 to 2018, China’s digital economy continued to grow at a rate of more than 20 percent per annum for three years. In addition, the Chinese digital ecosystem is expected to further expand as various nonface-to-face business models such as digital healthcare, digital education, and telecommuting grow due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This paper aims to identify the development trends in China’s digital economy since the outbreak of the pandemic and analyze the Chinese government’s support policies and new business models in the digital service sector and present the implications carried by the results of the analysis. This study will also propose new cooperation measures between Korea and China.