Technological innovation a must for digital economy to prosper
China Daily

A child takes part in an art exhibition using virtual reality devices at an art museum in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province. (Photo: China Daily)

This year's Government Work Report says that China will implement an innovation-driven development strategy, promote scientific and technological innovation and industrial upgrading, and break supply constraints.

China regards self-reliance and self-improvement in science and technology as being central to national development. The contribution rate of scientific and technological progress to China's economic and social development has increased from 56.2 percent in 2016 to 59.5 percent in 2019.

Enterprises are indispensable for scientific and technological innovation. The research and development that universities and research institutions carry out are of high technical value and costly, but it is not easy to apply the results in industrial production.

In contrast, enterprises are closer to the market and have convenient channels for applying the scientific results commercially. Chinese enterprises are therefore increasing research and development inputs.

According to a report released by the National Bureau of Statistics, the research and development inputs of enterprises accounted for more than 76 percent of China's total inputs in this area in 2020, with an annual growth rate of 10 percent. Enterprises engaged in the digital economy played a special role in this.

As the digital economy itself is innovation-driven, digital economy enterprises are more strongly motivated to pursue innovation. Also, digital economy enterprises enjoy obvious advantages in integrating innovation resources and breaking innovation bottlenecks, making them important drivers of scientific and technological innovation and economic transformation and upgrading in China.

As scientific and technological innovation becomes a national strategy, a number of digital economy enterprises are giving priority to increasing investment in scientific and technological innovation. After more than 20 years of rapid development, a number of influential digital economy enterprises have emerged in China, focusing on artificial intelligence and new digital infrastructure. For a long time in the past, digital economy enterprises focused on the popularization and improvement of internet infrastructure and applications, but now they have given full play to their advantages and grown into a new force of national scientific and technological innovation.

Because of the fierce global competition in science and technology, China's economic and social development and people's livelihoods need scientific and technological solutions and "from-zero-to-one "breakthroughs more than ever before. Maximizing the vitality of innovation will build up China's innovation drivers and push its scientific and technological innovation to new heights.