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在线翻译:
szdaily -> Opinion -> 
Internet-powered China
    2015-12-21  08:53    Shenzhen Daily

    Wu Guangqiang

    jw368@163.com

    THE Second World Internet Conference (WIC) ended Friday in Wuzhen, a 1,300-year-old town featuring ramified rivers and exquisite stone bridges, in Zhejiang Province. With “Building a Cyberspace Community of Shared Destiny” as the theme of this year’s event, the conference brought together over 2,000 guests from more than 120 countries and regions.

    The very fact that WIC has located its official site in Wuzhen, a tiny historic town, presents a vivid picture of China leaping from an agricultural and semi-industrialized society to an information society within a mere 30 years.

    In his speech at the opening ceremony Wednesday, President Xi Jinping demonstrated China’s firm commitment to turning China into a world Internet power that will not only promote the prosperity of its own people, but also contribute to the building of global cyber infrastructure.

    Over the past 20 years, China has amazed the world with its strides forward in the development of the Internet, evolving from a learner and user to an imitator, and, over time, one of the trendsetters.

    China became a member of the global Internet community on April 20, 1994 by adopting TCP/IP, a set of communications protocols that provides end-to-end connectivity.

    In May 1995, a giant billboard at Zhongguancun, Beijing, captured the eyes of passers-by. It read, “How far away are the Chinese people from the information superhighway?” “1,500 meters northward,” declared the ad, pointing to the location of China’s first Internet access service provider: InfoHighWay.

    On March 6, 1998, Wang Keping, a media worker, successfully bought 10 hours of Internet use time from Century Company by logging onto the Internet Banking of the Bank of China, completing China’s first online transaction, thus heralding the era of e-commerce.

    In 1998, Ma Huateng co-founded Tencent at his home with four telephone lines and eight computers. The following year saw Jack Ma found Alibaba at his home with mere 500,000 yuan pooled with other adventurers.

    

    Now the number of Chinese Internet users, which has ranked the first in the world since 2008, has hit 668 million, even greater than the entire population of the EU. About 594 million people are using mobile phones to access the Internet.

    The output of the Internet-related economy accounted for 7 percent of China’s GDP in 2014 and the total market value of all Chinese Internet companies has exceeded a quarter of China’s stock market capitalization.

    Of the top 10 largest Internet companies in the world, Chinese companies occupy four seats: Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent and Jingdong.

    During this year’s Singles’ Day, the world’s biggest online shopping spree, Internet users from China and overseas spent a whopping 91 billion yuan (US$14.3 billion) to snap up goods from China and overseas. The volume dwarfed the US$2.7 billion in sales on America’s Black Friday.

    Almost every aspect of people’s daily lives have become intertwined with the Internet, including shopping, payments, money transfers, ticket bookings, doctor visits and education, to say nothing of browsing the news, watching movies and social life and communication.

    Chinese Internet companies are going global. Alipay has been the world’s largest mobile payment company since 2013, serving customers from over 190 countries and regions. WeChat has 650 million monthly active users worldwide. Baidu’s mobile products have attracted 700 million overseas users.

    Everyone should be able to create, participated in, manage, share and benefit from the Internet. China is setting an example for the rest of the world in this regard.

    (The author is an English tutor and freelance writer.)

    

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