July 31, 2021

when the Chinese government meets the big tech bosses

Each year, the Chinese “China’s Two Sessions” event allows the leaders of the largest Chinese technology companies to meet members of government to define a common policy. This year, the proposals of the Chinese web giants echo the government’s objectives in terms of 6G, artificial intelligence, autonomous driving and quantum computing.

Develop “new technological infrastructures”

Among the proposals of the great leaders, we find solutions to respond to two issues facing the country: the ageing of the population and modernization of digital infrastructure. The “China’s Two Sessions” event allows leaders to participate in the country’s two most important political meetings of the year in the field of new technologies. Goal : define a national vision and a strategy for the technological development of the country.

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It is as delegates of the National People’s Congress (NPC) and the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), that they submit proposals and suggestions before the meetings. This year, the proposals from the leaders of Tencent, Xiaomi, Baidu and Lenovo fully echo the political goals and societal concerns of the Chinese government. The giants of the Chinese web particularly want to stimulate digital infrastructure through 5G and 6G networks as well as using artificial intelligence.

In recent months, China has intensified its efforts to build and improve what it calls “new technological infrastructure”. A general term that relates to cloud computing, IoT, high speed rail, research institutes, or quantum computing. Lenovo CEO Yang Yuanqing proposes, for example, to increase efforts on data centers in the country. Each company tries to get out of the game, so that their proposals turn into concrete action, or even into law.

Convergences towards the modernization of rural areas

For his part, Lei Jun, founder and CEO of the giant Xiaomi, wants to improve collaboration between industry and academia. Among the other subjects discussed: the fight against the brain drain in rural areas as well as the modernization of rural areas. A proposal supported by Ma Huateng, founder and CEO of Tencent who recommends the development of better training for farmers to improve their knowledge of e-commerce and agricultural technologies.

Zhang Jindong, CEO of Suning.com, volunteered to support small rural sellers in their digital transformation. 30 million urban workers were forced to stay or return to their hometown following the Covid-19 epidemic in 2020. They will participate in the modernization of the countryside because they are familiar with the web world.

At the heart of China’s Two Sessions: the fight against the digital divide

The other major subject concerns the aging of the population. The country, like many others, notes a real digital divide between young and old. This is a major problem that the government takes very seriously. Beijing is implementing several aids to help the elderly to make better use of new technologies. Wang Xiaochuan, CEO of Sogou, offered to adjust the apps so that they are easier to use for the elderly.

Robin Li Yanhong, Founder and CEO of Baidu, suggests that new technologies be used to make life easier for older people. The man is thinking in particular of the massive development of connected and intelligent devices, in the home as well as in the field of health care. A system of smart retirement was also mentioned.