China Social Science Network (Journalist: Gao Ying) – On July 29, the “Summit on the High-quality Development of China’s Digital Economy – Digital Economy Helps Empower New Types of Consumption” was held in Beijing. Gao Peiyong, Vice President, Member of the Leading Party Members’ Group of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), Li Yang, Director of the Academic Division of Economics and Member of Chinese Academy of Social Sciences Member, and Cai Fang, Chief Expert of China Top Think Tanks and Member of Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, attended the meeting and delivered keynote speeches.
Gao pointed out that, amid the current economic situation, macro policies should play a more active role in expanding the aggregate demand and that insufficient social demand should be compensated by driving consumer demand with the effective coordination of monetary and fiscal policies. Meanwhile, in the face of multiple pressures, it should be fully realized that the fundamentals of China’s long-term economic stability and growth remained unchanged. The hard-working Chinese people are continuously driven to pursue a better life and there are large numbers of wide-ranging market players, making the Chinese economy highly resilient. Economic researchers should focus more on clarifying the basic laws of China’s economic development in order to stabilize and enhance the expectations of market players and consumers for future economic development.
Li analyzed the factors currently restricting consumption growth from the perspective of residents’ income, debt level and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, pointing out that technical means needed to be matched with institutional reform and economic policies so as to promote consumption. Increasing employment was fundamental for boosting consumption. The platform economy, which had changed traditional modes of employment, was playing an increasingly prominent role in creating jobs and were bringing about noteworthy changes in the labor market. Flexible employees might become the mainstay of employment in the future.
Cai analyzed long-term characteristics of efforts in promoting consumption. He was convinced that the demographic situation determined that restrictions for China’s economic growth were shifting from the supply side to the demand side. At this stage, fiscal policy would play a more apparent role than before and destinations of expenditure would undergo major changes with the focus shifting from traditional market players to households and consumers to a certain extent. The transition from large gaps in income and basic public services to the predominance of the middle-income group would also bring about anticipated changes.
Wang Zhaoxing, counsellor of the State Council and former Vice Chairman of the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC), remarked that the application of the new generation of digital information technology in finance had improved the efficiency of financial services, reduced financial transaction costs, expanded the coverage of recipients of financial services, and offered a new driver for financial reform and development. However, there were also problems and challenges for digital finance, such as digital divide, data monopoly, and information leakage. In the future, we should innovate on the basis of what has worked in the past, stay people-oriented, adhere to inclusiveness, openness and transparency in the development of digital finance to guarantee the privacy security of data subjects, to prevent data monopoly and to promote residents’ consumption. The requirements of green and low-carbon development were to be observed and effective measures were to be taken to improve risk management and control capabilities.
Shen Jianguang, Chief Economist and Vice President of JD Group, analyzed and compared the economic situation at home and abroad based on statistics. He was convinced that it was necessary to properly deal with the risks that Europe and America being stuck in “great stagflation” might bring to China’s economic development. According to Shen, China’s economy picked up at a relatively fast pace in June, which fully reflected its resilience. For the next step, measures such as issuing consumer coupons at the national level, promoting the consumption of automobiles, household appliances, and computer products, and releasing the vitality of new real economy enterprises in stabilizing employment, consumption, and growth, so as to achieve the purpose of expanding domestic demand and stabilizing growth.
In the roundtable discussion session, experts, scholars and relevant personnel from research institutions, government organs and the industry focused on topics such as “Digital Economy Facilitating the Implementation of Policies for Promoting Consumption and Stabilize the Economy”, “Smart Cities and Digital Governance”, and “Digital Technology Contributing to Rural Revitalization” and engaged in in-depth exchanges and discussions from the perspectives of theory and practice. The attendees believed that the new technologies and new models brought by digital economy had effectively promoted the capacity expansion and upgrading of consumption, the construction of smart cities and the revitalization of rural areas. Digital economy has also facilitated the innovation in the cooperation mechanism between governments and enterprises and would play a more active role in key areas of social and economic development in the future.
The Summit was jointly sponsored by the Academic Division of Economics of the CASS and JD Group and jointly organized by National Academy of Economic Strategy, CASS and JD Economic Development Academy. It was held both online and offline with the publication of Typical Cases of New Real Economy Enterprises Promoting Real Economy and Report on High-Quality Development of China’s Digital Economy.