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Acting on Xi’s vision
2017-11-06, HE WEI

Chinese Internet firms said they are gearing up their pace of development as General Secretary Xi Jinping’s speech in October at the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China has given the economy new impetus to grow as a result of increased innovation and a wave of entrepreneurism.

By leveraging technological prowess and business model innovation, tech giants and startups alike have expressed their readiness and confidence to satisfy “people’s ever-growing needs for a better life”, as Xi said in his opening address at the congress.

Jack Ma, chairman of Alibaba Group, said entrepreneurs are the “pivotal forces” to help ease “unbalanced and inadequate” development, which stands in the way of people’s pursuit of a better life.

“To us, this spells both indispensable responsibilities and huge opportunities,” he said, adding that companies should utilize their vast resources and financial abundance to bring affluence and promote equal development.

Alibaba and JD.com, another e-commerce major, have sharpened their focus on precise poverty reduction, employing big data technologies. The two companies have helped to empower the nation’s poverty-stricken population by providing a platform for them to sell local specialties online and boosting sales via digital marketing measures.

“Under the guidance of the Party, JD.com is a major beneficiary of the deepened reform and constant improvement of the business environment,” said Long Baozheng, the company’s Party secretary and vice-president.

“We will assist the structural supply-side reform and rejuvenate the real economy by opening up our platforms and capabilities, and shoulder more corporate social responsibilities.”

China’s new economy, which includes the adoption of information technologies across various sectors, is estimated to account for 12 percent of the country’s GDP this year, according to a report published in September by Renmin University of China and China Chengxin Credit Management.

In his address to the congress, Xi called for more efforts to foster new areas of growth through further integration of the Internet, big data and artificial intelligence with the real economy.

Eric Jing, CEO of Ant Financial, an affiliate of Alibaba, said his company is committed to better serving the real economy through digital means, which effectively lowers financing barriers for smaller merchants and offers easier access to loans.

“We will make sure that our payment, wealth management and credit services can improve the welfare of the unbanked and underbanked population, and optimize the operating conditions of hundreds of thousands of mom-and-pop shops,” he said.

Zhong Yongjian is Party secretary of Meituan-Dianping, a group-buying and dining information platform. He said deepened integration between the Internet and the real economy is in accordance with the company’s mission to facilitate “better eating and better living” through information technologies.

Meituan-Dianping has poured resources into Party building in the company, including establishing a member database and developing a smartphone application that allows users to take online courses and watch broadcasts of Party meetings.

Bike-sharing firm Mobike has said that it will continue to firmly implement the major development concepts of “innovation, coordination, greening, opening-up and inclusiveness”, bringing premium services to its 200 million users who favor low-carbon transportation.

“We will throw full force into building a smart society by adopting Internet of Things and artificial intelligence technologies,” said Wang Xiaofeng, Mobike’s cofounder and CEO.


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