Ecosystm Labs is an open access observatory to keep policymakers informed about developments at the intersection of public policy and digital technologies. Ecosystm Labs is a joint initiative of Ecosystm and Multiverz.
China will further promote the development of a digital economy during the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25) period, according to a circular issued by the General Office of the State Council on Jan 12, 2022.
By 2025, the digital economy should be in full expansion mode, with the added value of core industries in the digital economy accounting for 10 percent of GDP.
Meanwhile, digital innovation should play a bigger role in leading economic development with significant progress in the intelligent level and integration between digital technology and the real economy.
A better digital economy governance system and a more competitive digital economy are also expected, according to the circular.
According to the plan, efforts will be made to accelerate the construction of the information network infrastructure, and a national-level integrated big data center system coordinating computing power, algorithms, data, and application resources.
High quality data elements will be provided.
Market entities will be encouraged to collect data in accordance with the law. Data resources processing will be improved and the data service industry will be fostered and expanded.
In addition, market-based circulation of data elements will be promoted. Furthermore, new mechanisms for the development and utilization of data elements will be developed.
The plan also emphasized industrial digital transformation.
To accelerate digital transformation and upgrading in enterprises, qualified large-scale enterprises will be encouraged to build integrated digital platforms.
Efforts will also be made to deepen comprehensive digital transformation in key industries, including all-around and full-chain digital transformation of traditional industries and higher digitization level in the agricultural industry.
The circular also urged promoting digital transformation of industrial parks and clusters.
It stresses enhancing innovation of key technologies in strategic and forward-looking fields such as quantum information, network communications, integrated circuits, key software, big data, artificial intelligence, block-chain, and new materials, among others.
Core industries should be more competitive, such as basic software and hardware, core electronic components, key basic materials and production equipment. And key products should be more self-sufficient.
New business forms and models will be fostered.
Digitization of public services is also an important issue, the circular said, and efforts will be made to improve the efficiency of Internet Plus government services, and ensure digital social services benefit more people.
The plan decided to promote construction of smart cities and digital villages, as smart parking lots, smart charging centers, and smart dustbins will be encouraged in newly built residential areas.
A sound digital economy governance system will be established with the participation of governments, platforms, enterprises, industrial organizations, and the general public, according to the circular.
International cooperation and data and network security are also stressed in the circular.
The US government is planning to spend roughly $2 trillion on infrastructure and economic recovery. The planned spending includes investments in transportation infrastructure, renewal of electricity grids, water systems, broadband and manufacturing, among other goals.
See the Factsheet on the American Jobs Plan put out by the Whitehouse.
Australia’s move to have digital platforms to pay for news has been very much in the public view. Its Treasury Laws Amendment (News Media and Digital Platforms Mandatory Bargaining Code) Bill 2020 allows for the bargaining of amounts to be paid for news content from registered Australian news business corporations by designated platform services. This issue will have repercussions beyond Australia, and needs to be closely followed.
Dealing with disinformation has become critical in the light of developments around the US Presidential election.
Brookings Techstream, has published an interesting piece on How disinformation evolved in 2020. The Oxford Internet Institute has a report on the role of computational propaganda: Industrialized Disinformation: 2020 Global Inventory of Organized Social Media Manipulation.
The US House of Representatives held a hearing last month regarding the disinformation on social media platforms that contributed to the storming of the US Capitol Building on January 6. The CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg suggested some reforms to Section 230 of the Computer Decency Act that provides protections to technology platforms.
The New York Times report on the hearings can be seen here.
David Baszuki, CEO and Founder of Roblox has authored a piece in Wired, The Metaverse is Coming. A metaverse is a shared, persistent virtual space. The question of how a metaverse will be regulated will become important in the days ahead. Regulatory issues include for example data ownership and privacy. Facebook’s take on privacy can be seen here.