Premier Li Keqiang shared his thoughts with global corporate leaders, who were participating in the World Internet Conference in Wuzhen township, Zhejiang province on Nov 20.[Photo/english.gov.cn]
“The world is getting smaller, and also larger, all because of the Internet,” Premier Li Keqiang said about the Internet during his meeting with global corporate leaders in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province on Nov 20.
Li shared his thoughts with the leaders, who were participating in the World Internet Conference in nearby Wuzhen township.
The Internet has shortened the distance between people and saved time for information exchanges, thus turning the world into a global village, Li said.
He also said the various industries and cultures born from the Internet have tremendously changed people’s lives, tapping greater potential for social development.
Equal access to consumption and employment
Jack Ma, founder of Alibaba group, told the Premier that he believed that e-commerce will continue to influence production patterns not only in China, but all around the world.
“Mankind is entering a new age featuring big data and cloud computing very quickly. ......with huge impact on people’s lives in the coming 20 years,” he said.
Premier Li agreed with Ma’s view of the influence of e-commerce. Everyone, either from cities or remote villages, can enjoy the same consumption rights, equal business and employment opportunities and social justice, said Li.
The government needs to offer a legal environment for fair competition among Internet business operators and improve efficiency by strengthening construction of infrastructure, said Li.
Safeguarding Internet development and security
An Internet without China is not complete, said Fadi Chehadé, president and CEO of the nonprofit Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).
ICANN handles the maintenance and operation of several databases related to the Internet domain names.
This year’s conference sent out an important signal that Internet should be open and cooperative, Li said.
Each country of the Internet community has to be an equal member to jointly share and govern the Internet, said Li.
As an equal member of the Internet community, China is willing to working with other countries to safeguard the development and security of the Internet, the Premier said.
Facebook vice president visits Geely plant with Premier Li
Wu Hequan, president of Internet Society of China, stressed the importance for China to develop industrial Internet.
For China, which is currently going through economic restructuring, the industrial Internet is an opportunity as well as a challenge, said Wu.
Li’s visit to a Geely plant coincided with Wu’s suggestion of the cooperation between Internet and industries.
After talking with Internet leaders, Premier Li invited them to join him for a tour to the Geely plant.
Facebook Vice President Vaughan Smith accompanied Li to the Geely plant, saying that he was excited to take a look inside.
The future of the Internet: cloud computing, big data, ITO
Tsai Shao-chung, president of Taiwan’s Want Want China Times Media Group, introduced his group’s cooperation with mainland media and expressed his hopes to increase cross-Straits media cooperation.
Li said he was delighted to see that they are making cooperation with media on the mainland.
When talking with LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman, Li said the direction of the Internet is not only about e-commerce but also cloud computing, big data and Internet of things (ITO).
Qualcomm Chairman Paul Jacobs told Li that his company is developing extensive cooperation with Chinese companies in mobile Internet, semiconductors and Internet equipments.
Li said Qualcomm will meet more opportunities than challenges in China, adding that even if there is any challenge, there will be a solution.
The Internet is one of humanity’s greatest inventions
Nobody could have imagined how deeply the Internet has influenced Chinese economic and social development, as well as people’s lives, when China first connected to the Internet 20 years ago, said Premier Li.
The Premier said that currently there are 700 million netizens in China, among which 600 million surf the Internet by mobile terminals such as cellphones. A growing number of people are devoting themselves to the establishment of the Internet, which creates huge consumer markets, entrepreneurial opportunities and innovative platforms.
“More importantly, the Internet fulfills many young people’s career development dream. It enables them to work while enjoying life; create wealth and realize the value of life at the same time,” said Li.
Li said that the Internet isn’t only a tool for work and study, but also for life. He said that many people will have their thinking patterns changed due to the Internet.
“Many words we have not used in the past emerged on the Internet like dianzan (like), gelivable (awesome), tuangou (group purchase),” said Li. “The Internet is one of human’s greatest inventions!”
New “engine” for Chinese economic development based on Internet economy
Premier Li also mentioned the “first village on the Internet” when he made an inspective tour to Yiwu, Zhejiang province.
“The online shop owners told me that they provide various services from selling goods to creating designs for customers,” said Li, “For them, it is not only a way to earn a living, but also a lifestyle. This kind of lifestyle is becoming a new trend moving China into a new era.”
Li stressed that it was the government’s support for e-commerce that helped with the growth of Chinese e-business, the development of which may need financial support and tax breaks and may have conflicted with traditional industries. However, to increase job opportunities and people’s revenue, the government will unwaveringly support the development of e-commerce, cross-border e-commerce, cloud computation, big data, and the Internet of things.
The Premier pointed out that it was because of the government’s reform including streamlining of administrations that led to the explosive growth of small, micro and self-employed companies. He says that these policies helped increase employment during a period of slower economic growth.
“New industries depending on the Internet economy strongly support entrepreneurship and innovation,” said Li. “The new ‘engine’ for Chinese economic development will be created when there are more people working in new industries, which will have great impact on the development of society and the progress of the people.”
Vitality and order are the Internet’s wings; trust and safety ensure the development of the Internet
Li said that every time he talked with Internet professionals and asked about their needs from the government, most people would give the same two answers: to strengthen the IT infrastructure construction and make more rules to protect fair competition.
“It makes sense to say that vitality and order are the Internet’s wings. Without vitality, the Internet shall have no vigor and charm. Without order, the Internet will see no safety and trust,” said the Premier. “I saw a large banner on the trading floor of the Yiwu International Trade Mart this morning: Honesty is the life of the commodity market. I’d like to borrow their words and say that honesty is the life of e-commerce. Trust and safety ensures the development of the Internet.”
Li promised that China is willing to work with all sides to protect the safety of the Internet and the rights of Internet companies and customers. He also said China is willing to punish those who infringe on intellectual property rights, conduct fraudulent activities over the Internet, or invade other’s privacy.
“The theme of the Internet conference highlighted sharing and co-governance, which I think is of great significance,” he said. “The Internet is open. It should also be transparent and safe. This calls for all countries that have joined the Internet to build a fair agreement that we all abide by, so that our game has rules and fair competition.”
Enthusiasm overwhelms the venue; meeting goes into overtime
The forum where Premier Li talked ran for an extra hour due to the enthusiasm of the participants.
Li said he appreciated the precious suggestions raised by the representatives, and that they brought him many new ideas.
“I’d love to hear more of your thoughts and insights,” he said. “But, we live in the Internet age. Time is valuable. Now we’re timed out. We have to stop here.”
At the end of the meeting, Li shared his wishes for the future with the participants with an analogy about the famous Qiantang River tide in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province.
“The development of the Internet is just like the Qiantang River tide. It is a huge tide of the economic and social development of human beings,” he said. “I hope you keep standing on the head of the tide and become the wave rider and trend leader of the Interned tide.”