Summary of An Exploration of Digital China and the Opportunities Within

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The 2018 China (Shenzhen) IT Leaders Summit focused on digital China. Tencent CEO and chairman Ma "Pony Ma" Huateng was among the industry leaders and renowned experts who attended the event to discuss trends. In his keynote speech on “The Opportunities and Exploration of Digital China,” he talked about how digitalization in China is fueling economic growth, Tencent’s retail strategies, the potential of information technologies in the social services sector and his view on how to accelerate innovations. Wu Zhaohan, an editor at China Entrepreneur magazine, edited a transcription of Ma’s speech to highlight his main points. getAbstract recommends this article to global investors and economists as well as futurists.

About the Authors

Ma “Pony Ma” Huateng is the founder, CEO and chairman of Tencent. Wu Zhaohan is an editor for China Entrepreneur, an online magazine covering business and the entrepreneurial life. 

 

Summary

The relationship between online and offline has changed from being mutually exclusive (“online will replace offline”) to being complementary (“better together”). The QR code united them. Chinese conglomerate Tencent purposely made the payment process of scanning a vendor’s QR code similar to the process of adding contacts in WeChat - with which people were already familiar. Making the process easy helped turn payment into a habit, and once it became a habit, the possible applications were endless. Farmers now accept payment for their crops using WeChat Wallet. China’s popular kiosk-less bike-sharing model depends on customers’ familiarity with QR codes. To cut costs and build relationships with customers, traditional industries are embracing “informationization” – a term primarily used in relation to China’s technology to mean the upgrading of systems through IT applications.

In 2015, the Chinese government announced its Internet Plus initiative to fuel economic growth by transforming and modernizing traditional industries using IT. In 2017, the government rallied everyone behind digitalization, which had three effects:


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