China’s trade in digital services fuels global growth | Opinion
China International Trade Fair for Services (CIFTIS) 2022 will be held in Beijing from August 31 to September 5. Another opportunity for companies and investors from all over the world to meet with dignitaries progress and innovation China in this promising area of digital services. This year’s edition will include a global summit on trade in services, exhibitions, forums, introduction of new products and technologies, business round tables, as well as other activities.
As stated by President Xi Jinping according to the participants of the Fair, China is currently committed to promoting high-quality development through market access in the service sector, facilitating the opening of trade in services to other countries, expanding digital platforms, and striving to establish a system of high opening standards for the service sector.
China is now the second largest digital economy in the world and occupies a leading position in various applications, including e-commerce, digital payments and investments in digital technologies. The value of China’s digital economy will reach US$7.1 trillion in 2021, according to a white paper on the global digital economy published by the Chinese Academy of Information and Communication Technology. Therefore, China it accounts for more than 18% of the total value accumulated by the 47 main countries included in the White Paper, second only to the US.
Chinese dominance in 5G infrastructure it strongly supports the country’s digital economy and gives Chinese entrepreneurs an advantage in developing new applications. China’s digital economy and the importance of electronic data and services also combine with its manufacturing activity to strengthen China’s central role in global value chains (GVCs), providing enormous scope for its companies to export digital services as inputs embedded in manufactured products.
In recent years, the Chinese digital economy has developed rapidly and has become one of the levers in planning its development. ON white paper shows that from 2012 to 2021, the average growth rate of China’s digital economy was 15.9%, and the share of the digital economy’s stock value in the country’s GDP increased from 20.9% to 39.8%. Considering this dynamic, in January 2022 the Chinese State Council announced a new plan for the development of the country’s digital economy, with the aim of increasing the share of the annual added value of this sector in GDP, from 7.8% in 2020 to 10% by 2025. ., the strengthening of technologies such as 6G and the construction of large data centers.
The digital transformation of industries will reach a a new level in China, as digital utilities will become more inclusive and the governance system of the digital economy will be visibly improved.
During Covid-19 pandemic, the digital economy has gained tremendous momentum around the world against the paralysis imposed by measures to contain the spread of the disease, making governments and companies realize the urgency and need to develop their digital sectors. Several countries and international bodies are now looking to facilitate digital transformation, taking initiatives to expand digital sectors, investing in digital infrastructure, adopting e-government platforms and launching technology parks and business incubators.
In an effort to advance the digitization of services, China has not only made the digital economy the cornerstone of its own future, but has also introduced a number of actions to achieve this goal at a more global level of international cooperation, such as Digital Silk Road (DSR) and the Initiative “Joint construction of a digital community with a common future”. Through the DSR, a component of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), for example, China has helped drive digital development on a large scale through its leadership in technological innovation and international solidarity in its foreign relations. regionally and globally.
Thus, Chinese companies contribute to the expansion of infrastructure construction in several countries, on Asia and Africa, to facilitate the collection, transmission, storage and processing of large amounts of data in partner countries.6 This infrastructure includes e-commerce platforms, mobile payment systems, smart data centers, 5G networks, submarine cables, satellites, cloud storage, smart cities and artificial intelligence. No country in the world has done so much in international cooperation and partnership in the field of digital economy.
The digital economy is not only changing the face of China’s economy, but also creating business opportunities for companies. national and foreigns. China’s large domestic market has economies of scale that enable rapid commercialization of new digital technologies. Accounting for over 40% of global transaction value, China has the largest e-commerce market in the world. The size of China’s internet user base encourages continuous experimentation and allows digital actors to quickly achieve economies of scale.
In short, the strength of China’s consumption of digital services goes beyond the advantages of scale, because today almost every aspectPeople’s daily life is inseparable from digital technology, including education, healthcare, information services, entertainment, finance and e-commerce. There are still business opportunities for foreign technology solution providers, especially in areas such as industrial digital transformation, service delivery, sustainable development solutions, consumer products, among others. Foreign companies interested in investing in the Chinese market can thus explore new and innovative services that can be incorporated into the existing digital ecosystem.
1 – Xi sends congratulatory letter to China International Services Fair. Xinhua Agency, 31.08.2022. Available at
2 – China’s digital economy reaches 7.1t USD: white paper. China Daily, 30/07/2022, available at:
3 – Joshua P. Meltzer. China’s Trade in Digital Services and Data Governance: How Should the United States Respond? Brookings, October 2020. Available at
4 – China Unveils Plan to Boost Digital Economy Between 2021 and 2025, Radio China International – CRI, 13/01/2022, available at < https://portuguese.cri.cn/news/china/407/20220113/728435.html >.
5 – Mordechai Chaziz. China-GCC Digital Economic Cooperation in the Age of Strategic Rivalry, 06/07/2022, Available at
6 – China vs. USA: The Battle for Digital Supremacy in Africa. Mail Guardian, 22/07/2022. Available at
7 – Yi Wu. Understanding China’s Digital Economy: Policies, Opportunities and Challenges, China Briefing, 11/08/2022, available at < https://www.china-briefing.com/news/understanding-chinas-digital-economy-policies-opportunities- i-izazovi/>.