Ningbo rolls out ambitious plan to grow digital economy

Updated:2020-06-24 (chinadaily.com.cn)

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Ningbo in East China's Zhejiang province, recently unveiled an ambitious plan to develop the digital economy this year. 

The added value of the core industries in the city's digital economy is targeted to exceed 220 billion yuan ($31.8 billion) this year, according to the document.

More efforts will be made to cultivate emerging sectors, facilitate industrial transformation and upgrading, increase innovation capabilities, promote smart city development, and optimize the business climate for the development of the digital economy. 

The digital economy has in recent years become an engine of economic growth. In 2019, the added value of the core digital economy industries in Ningbo rose 10.9 percent to 67.599 billion yuan, accounting for 5.6 percent of the city's GDP, an increase of 0.2 percent year-on-year. 

The digital economy was also among the first to recover from the COVID-19 epidemic. Official data shows that the added value of companies in the digital economy reached 10.28 billion yuan from January to April, up 0.6 percent year-in-year and an increase of 8 percent over the first quarter.

Emerging industries such as software information services, integrated circuits, and optical electronics maintained strong growth momentum, with year-on-year growth of 4.4 percent, 15.3 percent, and 21 percent respectively.

"Thanks to the coordinated development of the middle and high-end markets, our output value in the first quarter was 130 million yuan, a year-on-year growth of 184 percent," said Wu Chunyue, vice general manager of Forehope Electronic (Ningbo) Co Ltd, a company specializing in high-end IC packaging and testing. 

The company's annual production is expected to rank among the top five in China, after its 50,000-square-meter plant located in Sino-Italian Industrial Park in Ningbo begins operating in July. 

Forehope is not alone. In the first quarter, shipments of Sunny Optical Technology Group's three main products -- mobile phone lenses, car lenses, and camera modules -- rose 37.1 percent, 14.8 percent, and 42.9 percent year on year respectively, all record highs. 

A head official from the Ningbo municipal bureau of economy and informatization, predicted that the output value of the core digital economy industry in Ningbo will exceed 100 billion yuan in the first half of this year.