Digital economy will be next battle ground for nations
Global Times


A visitor views an artwork in an exhibition featuring digital art during China International Big Data Industry Expo 2019 in Guiyang, capital of southwest China's Guizhou Province, May 27, 2019. (Photo: Xinhua)

The wrestling match between the US and Europe over digital sovereignty reminds China to strengthen its own data security.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has urged Europe to seize control of its data from Silicon Valley technology giants, the Financial Times (FT) reported on Wednesday. Merkel's words show a growing awareness among European leaders of the need to challenge US dominance of the digital economy.

The digital economy, a new type of emerging economy that includes artificial intelligence, the digital sharing economy, and various services, is changing every aspect of our daily lives. Whoever masters the digital economy will dominate the future economy. Global powers are competing with one another for a bigger presence in the new economy and the future digital trade. 

European economies have shown their intention to establish some institutional arrangements to ensure the stable and sound development of the digital economy. 

Take data, for example, Merkel was quoted by the FT as saying that the EU should develop its own platform to manage data and reduce its reliance on the US-based cloud services run by Amazon, Microsoft, and Google. 

This move reminds China to invest more resources to enhance its own digital capabilities.

China has witnessed exponential growth in its digital economy, with a surge of internet-related innovations and start-up activity. Now, the digital economy is equivalent to one-third of the country's GDP. China needs to consolidate its position and establish its competitiveness in the global battle for new opportunities in the digital economy.

US financial hegemony can't continue and can't be endured in the digital age. One question worth considering is how to work with Europe to write the rules of the road for the digital economy. 

Chinese people firmly support a multilateral digital economic system. Ongoing efforts are needed to prevent US financial hegemony persisting amid the development of a global digital economy.

A key issue on the agenda of writing future digital economy rules is how to ensure data security. 

Information will be the foundation of the digital economy. We support the freedom and openness of the internet, as well as efforts to prevent and remove digital trade barriers, but that doesn't mean freedom in the virtual world has no boundaries. 

Merkel's words remind us that data security is an issue related to a country's "digital sovereignty." China needs to keep thinking about how it will safeguard its digital sovereignty as its digital economy expands rapidly.