China held its annual World Internet Conference 2022 (WIC 2022 / 世界互联网大会) in Wuzhen between 9-11 Nov 2022, with the theme “Towards a Shared Digital Future in a Connected World – Building a Community with a Shared Future in Cyberspace”. The conference comes closely after the 20th Communist Party Congress, where Xi Jinping secured his unprecedented third term as China’s president.
In line with recent Chinese government and market developments and movements, the focus this year shifted away from its former glitz and highlights around consumer technology, and focused more on policy and governance. While there was participation from Russia’s Kaspersky, Japanese Seiko Epson, and other technology companies from China, COVID-19 restrictions continued to keep international visitors to a minimum, and there was the conspicuous absence of China’s biggest technology company founders and key private sector technology leaders.
Topics covered during the conference included:
- The Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation on Cyberspace
- Global Development Initiative Digital Cooperation
- Cross-Strait, Hong Kong and Macao Internet Development
- Bridging Digital Divides
- Internet Communications and Peaceful Development
- Digital Infrastructure: Connectivity and Innovative Development
- Industrial Internet
- Data Governance
- Digital Society amid the Epidemic
- Cybersecurity Forum for Technology Development and International Cooperation
- Digital Economy
- Artificial Intelligence and Digital Ethics
China observers may want to note the release of the China Internet Development Report 2022 by the Chinese Academy of Cyberspace Studies, which provides updated figures on China’s internet infrastructure, such as:
- Internet access in rural China: 98%
- Rural China online retail sales: CNY2.05t / USD 290m
- 5G base stations (2022): 1854
- 23 bilateral e-commerce agreements with 23 countries and China
The World Internet Development Report 2022 by the same agency was also released during the conference. More information on the conference can be found at https://home.wicwuzhen.cn
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