Rapid growth in software and digital trade

Huang Yixuan
Commerce commission director says digitalization of service trade in Shanghai has quickened its pace, realizing the optimization of structure and the improvement of quality.
Huang Yixuan

Shanghai's software and digital trade has shown great advantages and potential for development, with imports and exports of computer and information services as well as the digital trade based on software information technology both posting fast growth in the year to date.

The two-day 18th Shanghai Forum on Software, hosted by the city's government and organized by the Shanghai Commission of Commerce and the Shanghai Commission of Economy and Informatization, was launched on Thursday.

"Driven by the wide application of software and information technology, the digitalization of service trade in Shanghai has quickened its pace, and realized the optimization of structure and the improvement of quality,” Zhou Lan, deputy director of the city's commerce commission, said in his speech at the forum’s opening session.

From January to September, overall imports and exports of computer and information services in Shanghai reached US$9.97 billion, up 8.5 percent year on year, while that of digital trade based on software and information technology topped US$31.5 billion, an increase of 8.6 percent from a year earlier. Both figures were growing at a faster pace than the average level of the city’s trade in services, according to the commission.

The city pledged to further step up support for the optimization of infrastructure, promoting the innovation of the regulatory system, accelerating the cultivation of market players and service brands, and upgrading the level of public services, to speed up the construction of Shanghai as a digital international trade hub.

Also, with the aim "to optimize the spatial distribution of key areas for the city's service trade and give full play to their advantages including resource gathering," the city on Thursday awarded licenses for four demonstration zones on trade in services, including Shanghai Pudong Software Park, Zizhu National Hi-tech Industrial Development Park and six demonstration projects.

The commission highlighted the good industrial base of the city's information service sector.

In 2019, the added value of Shanghai’s information service industry totaled 286.312 billion yuan (US$43.54 billion), an increase of 15 percent year on year, accounting for 7.5 percent of the city's total value-added output and 10.3 percent of the added value of the tertiary sector. 

Meanwhile, the city has more than 2,000 information service enterprises, accounting for more than 10 percent of the service industry. Among them are 779 enterprises with an operating income exceeding 100 million yuan and nine enterprises exceeding 10 billion yuan. 

There were 541,000 employees in the software industry in Shanghai last year, with an annual per capita output value exceeding 1 million yuan.

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