City festival shows achievements in online economy

Yuan Luhang
Shanghai showed its first "report card," a white paper on online new economy at the first anniversary of the online economy after it initiated the term last April.
Yuan Luhang

Online economy has become a new driver for Shanghai’s economic development, according to the city’s first white paper on the online economy released by the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences at the opening ceremony of Shanghai Information Consumption Festival, part of the Double Five Shopping Festival that kicked off on Monday. 

Online economy means the deep integration of the information technologies, including artificial intelligence, 5G, Internet, big data and blockchain as well as traditional industries such as manufacturing, finance, culture and entertainment, education, health care and transport.

The 2020 revenue of software and information service industry reached 1.09 trillion yuan (US$170 billion) in Shanghai, a year-on-year increase of 12.5 percent. Its added value was 325 billion yuan, increasing 13.5 year on year, accounting for 8.4 percent in total added value.

Shanghai has 21 top 100 Internet firms in 2020, the second most and only behind Beijing. The city has 84,000 enterprises in cross border e-commerce, accounting for 14.8 percent in the whole country.

Shanghai took 60 percent market share in third-party payment, 70 percent in local life services, 90 percent Internet literature and 30 percent in Internet game.

Shanghai’s Internet industry is mainly distributed in Zhangjiang, Pudong New Area, Xuhui District, Changning District and Yangpu District.

The Pudong New Area is home to most Internet services companies in Shanghai, which creates half of related output across the city.

To further boost online economy and the information services industry, the festival was was co-organized by the Shanghai Economy and Information Technology Commission and the Shanghai Information Services Association (SISA). The opening ceremony was livestreamed on more than 20 online platforms including Shanghai-based Bilibili and Kuaishou.

City Vice Mayor Wu Qing saidn that “Online economy outstood by three good qualities: the most innovative, the fast increase and bringing concrete benefits to the public.”

Jiang Mingtao, an official at Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, said that “Consumption plays an increasingly important role in China’s economic development for now and information consumption has the widest radiation, which is key for expanding domestic demand and securing jobs.”

In 2020 Chinese people consumed 5.8 trillion yuan in information services, accounting for ten percent in total consumption, according to Jiang.

More than 200 industry professionals attended the opening ceremony. Almost all CEOs or founders of Shanghai’s leading companies in the information service industry came, according to Lu Lei of the Shanghai Information Services Association (SISA).

“The deep integration of information technologies and traditional consumption fields has incubated many new business modes. The information consumption is a ‘booster’ for expanding domestic demand,” said Hu Jianbo, chief engineer at the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology (CAICT).

A two-hour presentation featuring three entrepreneurs selling digital products was livestreamed after the opening ceremony.

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