As part of its 14th five-year plan, China plans to increase support for research and development for 6G or sixth-generation Internet. 6G is said to follow today’s 5G technology, although no global standards or definitions have been agreed yet.
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China aims to increase the digital economy̵[ads1]7;s share of its gross domestic product by 2025, powered by next-generation technologies such as 6G internet and big data.
The ambition highlights China’s pressure to move forward in new technology as it continues to rival the United States in areas from semiconductors to artificial intelligence.
In a document released last week, China’s government, the country’s highest executive body, said that “core industries in the digital economy” will account for 10% of GDP by 2025, up from 7.8% in 2020.
The goals are part of China’s 14th Five-Year Plan, a development plan that runs from 2021 to 2025. Last year, China highlighted areas in “frontier technology” in which it will increase research and aim for self-sufficiency. The latest State Council document also provides more specific goals for the coming years.
For example, China aims to increase national online retail sales from 11.76 trillion yuan in 2020 to 17 trillion yuan in 2025. It expects the software and information technology industry to rise from 8.16 trillion yuan in 2020 to 14 trillion yuan in 2025
China expects gigabit broadband users, the current fastest internet connection speed, to increase from 6.4 million in 2020 to 60 million in 2025.
In fact, increasing internet connections and speeds is part of China’s strategy to increase the digital economy’s share of GDP.
China will promote commercial distribution and large-scale use of 5G, according to plan. 5G is related to the next generation of internet that promises super fast speeds. It has already begun to roll out in China and other countries.
But Beijing’s plan also sets out ambitions in 6G or sixth generation internet. China plans to increase support for 6G research and development and be involved in the establishment of international standards for 6G. China began laying the groundwork for work on 6G in 2019. The fifth generation has just begun to roll out and there are no agreed standards or definitions of what 6G is yet.
The world’s second largest economy is also aiming to play a greater role in shaping technology standards around the world, a move analysts said could have major implications for Beijing’s power in areas from mobile internet to artificial intelligence. Standards often agree globally on technical rules for how technologies work.
Regulation, chips in focus
China’s plan also continues issues of self-sufficiency in areas such as semiconductors. The document includes other areas such as cloud computing, construction of data centers and cross-border e-commerce.
Beijing also promised to continue regulatory oversight of the domestic technology sector. Over the past year, China has tightened regulations for Internet companies and introduced new laws in areas from antitrust to data protection.
The Government document said it would explore the establishment of governance methods that are compatible with the “sustainable and healthy development of the digital economy.” Beijing also said it would clarify the responsibilities of different regulators and strengthen cooperation between different authorities.