Tech tycoons support Xi's innovation vision

Updated: 2016-09-08 China Daily

Tech tycoons at the business forum on Saturday that preceded the G20 Leaders Summit in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, hailed the keynote speech by President Xi Jinping, which emphasized innovation, saying the direction, combined with current practices in China, could solve the global challenge of growth.

Xi sent a clear message in the speech that pillars of the virtual economy-data, artificial intelligence and other internet-powered technologies-should be used to drive real growth, as they have become increasingly important in China's economy.

Sun Pishu, chairman of Inspur Group Co, China's largest server maker, said the world economy has not fully recovered from the 2008 financial crisis because the third industrial revolution, using electronics and information technology to automate production, has lost momentum.

"It is high time to further the development of the fourth industrial revolution, characterized by data, and innovate the development models to drive new growth," he said.

In his keynote speech at the opening of the B20 Summit, Xi said that scientific and technological innovation are the keys to development.

"We will pursue an innovation-driven development strategy to create stronger growth drivers," he said.

Robin Li, chief executive officer of Baidu Inc, which operates China's largest online search engine, said innovation is not only the powerhouse of China's economy in the new normal economy but also the key driver for a new global economy.

"Internet-powered technology and industry is about to take off, and artificial intelligence will bring revolutionary changes to how people live and the way they produce," Li said.

"Companies and governments around the world must seize the opportunity to deepen their collaboration in platforms, resources, talent and policies," he said.

The government has underscored the importance of innovation, introducing various policies to encourage information consumption and guide the development of smart manufacturing. It has lowered the threshold of support for individuals setting up their own businesses to become part of the massive innovation wave.

China, has for the first time joined the world's top 25 most innovative economies, which had been dominated by developed economies, according to a report released in August by Cornell University, INSEAD business school and the World Intellectual Property Organization.