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China Seeks to Become Cyber Superpower

On March 21, the Chinese Communist Party’s mouthpiece People’s Daily published an article titled, “Make Steady Progress on the Path to Being a Cyber Superpower.”

A year ago, in March 2018, the Central Leading Group for Cybersecurity and Informatization was changed to the Central Cyberspace Affairs Commission. It is in charge of the top-level design and overall layout of China’s cyber industry and coordination and the supervision of major projects in the field.

At the National Cybersecurity and Informatization Work Conference held in April 2018, Xi Jinping gave a speech. “(Xi) emphasized that informatization has brought a rare opportunity for the Chinese nation. We must sharply grasp the historical opportunities of informatization, strengthen the positive propaganda over the Internet, safeguard cybersecurity, promote the breakthroughs in core cyber technologies, play the leading role of information technology in economic and social development, strengthen the military-civilian integration in the field, actively participate in international governance of cyberspace, and independently advance the development of a cyber superpower.”

The article named a list of technologies that China has been pushing forward, including facial recognition, the unmanned supermarket, VR online education, the unmanned cockpit, an artificial intelligence TV anchor, e-government, rural e-commerce, online education, a shared economy, smart travel, mobile payments, remote diagnosis, big data, and cloud computing.

As of November 2018, the number of AI related patent applications in China exceeded 144,000, accounting for 43.4 percent of the total global applications, ranking China as first in the world. From 1997 to 2018, the population of Internet users in China increased from 620,000 to 829 million, with the Internet penetration rate growing from 0.03 percent to 59.6 percent. The scale of online retail transactions now ranks No. 1 in the world. In the next 5 to 10 years, China plans to build the world’s largest IPv6 commercial application network, enabling the next generation of the Internet to be deeply integrated with the various fields of the economy and society.

Source: People’s Daily, March 21, 2019