China's tech and internet companies are expected to embrace a new round of growth this year, which will inject greater impetus into job creation and the country's economic recovery, said industry experts and company executives.
"Restoring expectations and confidence in platform companies this year will drive the promotion of high-quality employment," said Zhang Yansheng, chief researcher at the China Center for International Economic Exchanges.
"They can also maximize their role of driving the integration of digital technologies and the real economy to offer fresh impetus to new occupations," Zhang said.
The remarks were made following the tone-setting Central Economic Work Conference that took place in December. The meeting emphasized that platform companies — which mainly refer to tech and internet enterprises that leverage platforms to offer services — will be supported to "fully display their capabilities" in bolstering economic growth, job creation and international competition.
A report led by the Chinese Academy of Personnel Science said that over the next five years, Tencent's digital ecosystem is expected to help create 31.8 million new jobs, adding that the company has driven the development of 147 new job categories.
"As an important part of the new economy, the platform economy has undergone a period of healthy governance coupled with the gradual improvement of related laws and regulations, and it now has the conditions to radiate vitality and speed up further development," said Wang Xiaoming, head of industrial and technological innovation at the Institute of Science and Development at the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
"Amid internal and external economic uncertainties, platform enterprises are expected to play a leading role in driving both domestic economic growth and global industrial advancement," Wang said.
Shan Zhiguang, director of the information and industrial development department at the State Information Center, said: "Moving forward, a group of tech and internet enterprises will lead digital transformation in various industrial sectors, including consumption, entertainment and medical care.
"They will drive the formation of several innovation ecosystems related to artificial intelligence, cloud computing, blockchain, big data and processors. It will be a new normal for major economies to compete in the above-mentioned ecosystems."
A white paper released by the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology, a government think tank, showed that the market scale of China's digital economy reached $7.1 trillion last year, which was the second-largest globally.
"In terms of consumption, China's younger generations are stepping up to become the main force of luxury consumption. We are inspired to bring such strong demand to global brands and the consumer market," said Yang Bing, founder and CEO of POIZON, an online fashion marketplace for authentic branded sneakers and designer label accessories as well as luxury brands.
Moving forward, the platform will also leverage more technologies, including augmented reality and artificial intelligence, to drive more creative consumption experiences for young consumers, Yang added.
"This positive shift enables platform companies to not only lead development in various business sectors in the domestic market, but also compete further on the global stage in the future," said Wei Jianguo, former vice-minister of commerce and vice-chairman of the China Center for International Economic Exchanges, in an earlier interview.
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