Viviane Reding, a member of Luxembourg's parliament and former vice-president of the European Commission, speaks at the closing ceremony of the Fifth World Internet Conference in Wuzhen, East China's Zhejiang province, on Friday. Photo by Chen Zebing / China Daily
Leading lights agree digital governance, cooperation, social inclusion, equitable benefits are the key to global progress
The Fifth World Internet Conference ended on Friday with government officials and industry leaders calling for global efforts to build a digital world with shared interests and collective governance.
"Cooperation in the digital age is more important than ever, and we need to do much more together as a global community to ensure that no one is left behind offline," Elliott Harris, assistant secretary-general for economic development and chief economist in the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations, said at the closing ceremony.
"The conference offered an excellent space for experts and practitioners to reflect collectively on the issues related to the digital economy, social inclusion and digital governance, as we seek to share equitably in the benefits of the digital revolution."
The conference provided fertile ground for cooperation and sharing, which is touted as "a showcase of the digital achievement of China and the capacity of all participants to collaborate", said Viviane Reding, member of Luxembourg's parliament and former vice-president of the European Commission.
She made a reference to China's role as the world's biggest e-commerce market with more than 800 million netizens, adding that Chinese netizens utilize the technology in a very natural way.
"China and Europe should jointly work to better link our digital economies, creating a common opportunity and link our industries' possibilities to our startups," Reding said. "We should synergize digital strategies, coordinate policies, build common standards of technology and ethics, promote academic exchanges and enhance global cooperation in cutting-edge technologies like 5G and artificial intelligence, to better equip our societies and our industries."
Agreed Zhuang Rongwen, minister of the Cyberspace Administration of China. The country is pledging to boost the internet's development for the betterment of people and economic growth, he said.
"The internet is a growing driving force to promote the country's economic transformation and to improve social progress, offering new impetus for the world's internet development," Zhuang said.
He also said more efforts are needed to create an innovative environment, boost the development of cloud computing, big data, AI and other technologies, expand exchanges and deepen cooperation among different countries and regions, accelerate global network infrastructure, safeguard data security and bridge the digital divide.
This year's conference centered on the theme "Creating a Digital World for Mutual Trust and Collective Governance - Toward a Community with a Shared Future in Cyberspace", and featured discussions on global communication and cooperation in various sectors.
More than 1,500 participants attended the event. Among them were government officials, scholars, industry leaders and representatives of international organizations from 76 countries and regions.
Over the last four years, the conference has sought to promote industrial innovation and advanced communications.
During the fifth edition, 431 local as well as overseas internet-related enterprises showcased their latest technologies and products at the Light of Internet Expo, which was part of the larger conference that focused on subjects like the latest applications of 5G mobile telecom technology, self-driving vehicles and robots.
Notably, the event singled out 15 top-notch achievements relating to internet technologies, in fields like artificial intelligence and 5G. They were selected from over 400 technological achievements from more than 20 countries and regions.
The selection committee was co-chaired by Whitfield Diffie, winner of the 2015 Turing Award, and Wu Hequan, an academic with the Chinese Academy of Engineering, and consisted of over 40 Chinese and foreign technologists. They started collecting submissions in July.
Tencent Holdings Ltd's WeChat mini programs, Huawei Technologies Co Ltd 's artificial intelligence processor, and 360 Security Technology Inc's intelligent cybersecurity protection system made it onto the list. Others included the technologies and services of Baidu Inc, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd and Xiaomi Corp.
Tesla Inc, the US-based electric vehicle maker, and Qualcomm Inc, a chip company, were also appreciated for their smart services and technological breakthroughs.
US-based online travel giant Booking Holdings called the conference "a great opportunity" to build more cooperation for the future.
Glenn D. Fogel, CEO of Booking Holdings, said: "The conference is a great gathering of technology experts and businesspeople from around the world. It brings together the brightest minds in technology. And leaders from various industries shared ideas and ways to move forward for the future, making it better for us to drive our business growth.
"China has come into its own as an innovator, and I believe it will continue to be a powerhouse for tech in the years to come. The pace of innovation is exceptional here, and the intense competition means if you are not at the forefront of technology in China, you will be gone very soon."
During this year's event, Honeywell International Inc showcased its latest technological achievements in the spheres of the internet of things, industrial internet and related areas.
"It benefits our businesses a lot. Honeywell is a brand well-known for its electric appliances. The expo during the event let more people learn more about our IoT business and related techniques," said William Yu, vice-president and general manager of Honeywell's Asia Pacific operations.
Agreed Hou Jianbin, founder and CEO of Zuoyebang, a leading Chinese online education company, saying this year's conference offered a platform for internet companies to showcase, share and communicate their latest achievements.
Topics concerning online charity work showed that internet-based companies have the foresight to leverage technology to improve people's lives, he said.
"China is transforming from a big internet nation to an internet power. Technologies are offering Chinese internet-based enterprises a broader scope," said Hou. "These technologies are also making high-quality resources accessible to more places, especially rural areas."
Lou Xiang, CEO of Hangzhou-based Hengyi Petrochemicals Co Ltd, said he believes the internet is growing to be an even more promising sector for China.
"Right now, China is leading the world in its internet adaptation in the consumption sector. Going forward, I think there will be a boom in China's industrial internet sector," Lou said.