Digital economy sees rapid development in Ningbo

Updated:2019-09-11 (chinadaily.com.cn)

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Digital economy is emerging as a pivotal driver for industrial transformation and economic growth in Ningbo.

Official data shows that in the first half of this year, the output of core digital economy industries in Ningbo posted growth of 10.4 percent year-on-year, five percentage points faster than the city's average over the period.

Sectors such as electronic information manufacturing, software and information service, 5G, and artificial intelligence are on the rise in the city, adding further fuel to its industrial transformation.

Local authorities have rolled out an action plan to further develop the city's digital economy. According to the plan, the city will implement a digital development strategy which focuses on digital technology and smart city construction by 2022. By then, officials hope that Ningbo's digital economy will account for over 45 percent of the city's gross domestic product (GDP).

The role of digitalization in catalyzing economic growth is becoming increasingly prominent as more innovations are made which accelerate the integration of digital technology with traditional industries, said Fang Zhijie, head of the digital economy department at the Ningbo Municipal Bureau of Economy and Information Technology.

He added that the development of digital economy is not only a strategic choice for Ningbo to bring about a new scientific and technological revolution, but also an important means to cultivate new growth drivers.

Statistics show that the output of electronic information manufacturing companies above designated size in Ningbo exceeded 91 billion yuan ($13.5 billion) in H1, an uptick of 8.31 percent year-on-year, while the figure for businesses in the software service sector was 37.34 billion yuan, up 21.9 percent.

A report released by the China Center for Information Industry Development ranked Ningbo 22nd among the top 100 cities in terms of digital economic development.

Ningbo has been a model city in facilitating industrial digital transformation in recent years, said Li Min, chief engineer of the Zhejiang Provincial Department of Economy and Information Technology, adding that the city has made remarkable achievements in the development of digital economy, especially in the areas of industrial digitization and smart city construction.

The software industry is also seeing rapid growth in Ningbo. The total revenue of software companies in the city stood at 44.19 billion yuan from January to July, a yearly uptick of 22.1 percent. By 2020, Ningbo hopes to increase the revenue of its software sector to 100 billion yuan, as per a recent guideline released by the local government.

With the advent of 5G, Ningbo is also focusing on accelerating the construction of a 5G network.

According to a plan unveiled by the local government in July, the city aims to build itself into a national demonstration area for 5G innovation and application by 2022.

By 2020, it plans to build 6,000 5G base stations providing coverage to its central urban area, key industrial zones, ports and scenic spots. By 2022, the city aims to have more than 20,000 base stations covering all jurisdictions.

Xu Yun, deputy head of the Ningbo Municipal Bureau of Economy and Information Technology, said that the city will ride the wave of 5G commercialization and promote the application of the network in intelligent ports, intelligent driving, industrial internet and smart cities.