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‘Internet Plus’ revives small towns in eastern China

Updated: Dec 24,2015 2:36 PM     Xinhua

Zhai Ruiren, a doctor in the Eastern coastal city of Qingdao is treating a patient 1,800 kilometers away via the Internet.

The patient, 11-year-old Rinchen from Gannan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, has myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), meaning his bone marrow does not produce enough healthy blood cells.

“Instead of coming to my surgery, he can go to any hospital and consult me through a webcam,” Zhai said.

China’s first Internet hospital was established this month in Wuzhen, home of the annual World Internet Conference. Cybermedicine is bringing over 200,000 doctors from 1,900 Chinese hospitals to computer screens everywhere.

Chen Xudong, a senior Wuzhen official in charge of industry, claims more than 20 Internet companies have arrived in the town since November, 2014.

Less than 100 kilometers from Wuzhen, a “cloud town” is increasingly well-known to entrepreneurs at home and abroad. Cloud computing is become synonymous with Zhuantang Township. Over 180 “cloud-related” companies have settled in 3.5 square kilometers and generating over 1 billion yuan each year.

Creative products based on cloud computing have become instant hits this year. A “magical needle” knows if a fruit, vegetable, toy or juice is toxic just by touching it for five seconds; a money-counting machine displays the circulation details of a banknote the moment it is counted...

In neighboring Datang Township, only one product is worshiped, or rather a pair of products. Datang is China’s sock town, producing over 70 percent of the world’s socks, or four pairs for everyone in the world each year, but few people knew about the sock metropolis beyond eastern China.

“By connecting ourselves to the Internet, we opened up a new way to bring in customers and designers, and to popularize our name and products,” said Xu Hong, party secretary of the town.

“Small towns attract entrepreneurs by building unique industries and offering quality services. Successful venture projects, in return, draw more attention from more entrepreneurs and talent. Success breeds success,” said Weng Jianrong of the provincial development and reform commission.

Zhejiang administers the above towns, and has plans to support 100 townships in developing their own economy with distinctive features.

Li Qiang, governor of Zhejiang, said the province is looking to Silicon Valley, Evian and Davos for inspiration. “They are scenically attractive, full of cultural appeal, and sitting at the high end of their chosen industry.”

“With the help of the Internet, traditional industries in small towns can be renovated instead of being driven out of the market,” Li said.

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