Digital is becoming a significant component of China GDP. According to a report released the state-linked Chinese Academy of Cyberspace Studies noted that the digital economy now accounts for 30% of the GDP.
The report unveiled in Wuzhen at the fourth World Internet Conference noted that the digital economy is now worth RMB 22.58 trillion last year. Only the U.S. is ahead of China and is around 30.3% of the country's economy.
E-commerce is a crucial reason for the surge in the digital economy. Buying, especially through smartphone apps, are a critical reason for the boom. Besides, the convenience of smartphones for ruling all aspects of life, from ordering food to messaging and being part of the sharing economy is also contributing to the rise.
While officially declaring the internet as "open," Chinese officials noted the need for internet censorship "for the greater good." The rise of the digital economy comes as the China government started cracking harder this year.
While Western digital economy companies, such as Facebook, Twitter and Google, face restrictions and outright bans, this year saw the introduction of even more new rules on foreign tech companies on storing user data. The new China Cybersecurity Law forbids firms to take customer or user data out of the country, making it difficult for foreign firms to conduct analysis or business that requires it.