Last year, China's import and export volume of digitally delivered services hit a record high [ Rule of law helps the development of digital trade on the "fast lane"]

Core Reading

China's digital trade is growing rapidly. In 2022, China's import and export of digitally deliverable services will be US$3727.1 billion, a year-on-year increase of 3.4%, and the scale will hit a record high. Among them, exports were 2105.4 billion US dollars, a year-on-year increase of 7.6%.

□ reporters of this newspaper, Zhou Fenmian and Wang Chun

Digital trade has become an important form of trade in the era of digital economy and plays an important role in promoting economic recovery and growth. According to the World Trade Organization, the global export value of digitally deliverable services in 2022 will be 4.1 trillion US dollars, a year-on-year increase of 3.4%, accounting for 57.1% of global service exports.

The reporter recently learned at the second Global Digital Trade Expo that in recent years, thanks to the great attention of the Party Central Committee and the State Council, China has issued a number of laws and regulations on digital trade, and local regulations have also been introduced in various places, and China's digital trade has shown a rapid growth trend.

Leading companies are emerging

At the opening ceremony of the 2022nd Global Digital Trade Expo, the Ministry of Commerce released the Report on the Development of China's Digital Trade (2022) (hereinafter referred to as the "Report"). According to the report, in 3727, China's import and export of digitally deliverable services will be US$1.3 billion, a year-on-year increase of 4.2105%, and the scale will hit a record high. Among them, exports were 4.7 billion US dollars, a year-on-year increase of 6.<>%.

"China has made remarkable achievements in the field of digital trade, and has also become a global powerhouse in this field, demonstrating innovative approaches, technological advancements and a thriving entrepreneurial spirit." Zhang Xiangchen, Deputy Director-General of the World Trade Organization, said this in his speech at the opening ceremony.

China's digital trade is becoming more and more competitive in the world, thanks to a large number of outstanding digital enterprises growing bigger and stronger. According to the report, as of 2022, there are more than 10 digital trading companies in China with a market value of more than US$200 billion.

According to the "2022 Global Unicorn 500 Development Report", among the top 500 global unicorn enterprises, the number of Chinese companies has reached 227, an increase of 12 over the previous year, ranking first in the world for four consecutive years, with a total valuation of 10.7 trillion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 19.3%. China's unicorn companies are mainly distributed in the fields of hard technology, new energy, and new media, covering semiconductors, robots, new materials, intelligent hardware, drones, quantum, optical computing and other subdivisions.

Not only that, digital platform companies have also formed a "wild goose array" to go overseas. Digital service platforms are becoming an important hub for connecting international trade and an important carrier for enterprises to deeply integrate into the global supply chain.

According to the report, by the end of 2022, there were more than 10 digital service platform companies with a market value of more than $200 billion in China. According to the statistics of the Hurun Research Institute, the number of unicorn enterprises in China ranks second in the world, and the number of leading enterprises is increasing. Short video platforms have become a new "blue ocean" of the global Internet. Based on the R&D experience in the domestic market, leading domestic short video companies have explored new forms of digital services that are algorithm-driven, user-generated, and efficient use of data, showing strong market competitiveness in the international market.

Li Xin, chief business manager of the digital currency office of the head office of the Bank of China, said at the financial forum that the Bank of China has recently been exploring new solutions to improve the cross-border payment experience with digital currency, and in cooperation with Yiwu Commodity City, which is known as "buying the world and selling the world", it has organically integrated digital currency with "righteous payment", innovated products such as "one-stop settlement and one-currency settlement", and integrated digital currency into the existing payment system to achieve faster settlement processing. Recently, on this basis, it has cooperated with Yiwu Commodity City to provide a set of cross-border solutions based on digital yuan for 5,148 merchants in the mall and buyers from <> countries around the world.

The rule of law system has been continuously improved

It is worth noting that China has continuously strengthened the top-level design and overall planning of digital trade.

According to the report, the Notice of the State Council on Printing and Distributing the 2022th Five-Year Plan for the Development of the Digital Economy issued in January 1 emphasizes that "digitalization should be used to drive the transformation of trade entities and trade methods, and create a good environment for trade digitalization." Improve digital trade promotion policies, strengthen institutional supply and legal guarantees".

In February 2023, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and the State Council issued the "Overall Layout Plan for the Construction of Digital China", which clarified that the construction of digital China will be laid out in accordance with the overall framework of "2", that is, to consolidate the "two foundations" of digital infrastructure and data resource system, promote the deep integration of digital technology with the "five-in-one" construction of economic, political, cultural, social and ecological civilization, strengthen the "two capabilities" of digital technology innovation system and digital security barrier, and optimize the "two environments" of domestic and international digital development.

Policies such as the Opinions of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and the State Council on Accelerating the Construction of a National Unified Market, the Opinions of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and the State Council on Building a Data Basic System to Better Play the Role of Data Elements, and other policies have built a data basic system from the aspects of data property rights, circulation and trading, income distribution, and security governance, providing policy guidance and direction guidance for deepening the reform of the market-oriented allocation of data elements, releasing the value of data elements, and promoting the high-quality development of the digital economy.

On October 2023, 10, the National Data Bureau was officially launched, which is responsible for coordinating and promoting the construction of data infrastructure systems, coordinating the integration, sharing, development and utilization of data resources, and coordinating the planning and construction of digital China, digital economy, and digital society. The construction of a national integrated data trading market has become one of the important reform tasks for comprehensively deepening the reform and advancing it in depth, which will further promote the liberation and development of digital productivity.

At the operability level, a number of laws and regulations have been introduced. In November 2016, the Cybersecurity Law was promulgated, becoming the first basic law in China's digital sector. In June 11, the Data Security Law was promulgated, which for the first time systematically clarified the regulatory requirements for data processing, use, and flow, and proposed the establishment of a national data classification and hierarchical protection system, and the formulation of important data catalogs. In August 2021, the Personal Information Protection Law was promulgated, establishing a personal information protection system with clear rights and responsibilities, effective protection, and standardized use.

In July 2022, the Measures for Security Assessment of Cross-border Data Transfers were promulgated, which clearly stipulate the applicable circumstances, assessment items, assessment procedures, and transition period for cross-border data transfer. In February 7, the Measures for Standard Contracts for the Export of Personal Information were promulgated to regulate the cross-border transfer of personal information.

In addition, a number of laws related to the digital economy and digital industry, such as the E-commerce Law, the Foreign Trade Law, the Copyright Law, and the Law on the Protection of Minors, have been revised and put into effect, and the laws and policies related to digital trade have been continuously improved.

Relevant regulations have been issued in many places

At the local level, many places have actively issued relevant local regulations and normative documents.

Han Jie, director of the Zhejiang Provincial Department of Commerce, said at a press conference that Zhejiang is a leading province in digital trade, and has issued a provincial digital trade policy document, clarified the architecture of the "458" system for digital trade, and released a report on digital trade analysis. We will further promote the monitoring of digital trade statistics, take the lead in establishing provincial-level statistical systems for trade in services and digital trade, explore the safe and orderly flow of data across borders, and achieve a number of "firsts" in the field of digital trade rules and standards.

According to the report, Beijing has issued regulations and measures such as the Regulations on the Promotion of the Digital Economy in Beijing, Several Measures of Beijing Municipality on Promoting the High-quality Development of Digital Trade, and the Measures for the Management of Public Data in Beijing to standardize the digital trade governance system.

Guangdong Province issued the Action Plan for Promoting the High-Quality Development of Trade in Services in Guangdong Province (2021-2025), proposing to rely on digital platforms such as the "single window" for international trade in China (Guangdong) to build a digital public service platform for trade in the province, and promote the digitalization of key trade links such as trade negotiations, trade execution and trade services.

Jiangsu Province will closely link the "Nanjing Software Valley National Digital Service Export Base Development Action Plan (2022-2025)", "Jiangsu Province Measures to Promote the Accelerated Development of Digital Trade", "Nanjing Digital Trade Development Action Plan (2022-2025)" and other provincial and municipal documents to form the first provincial and municipal three-level digital trade top-level design linkage system in China.

Shandong Province issued the "Implementation Opinions on Promoting the Innovative Development of Digital Trade in Shandong Province", innovatively proposing the characteristic development path of "manufacturing servitization, service digitalization, and digital trade" to accelerate the new layout of digital trade space.

A new starting point proposes new initiatives

There is a long way to go to vigorously develop digital trade. The report proposes that we should continue to strengthen the top-level design of digital trade, promote the issuance of policy documents to promote the reform, innovation and development of digital trade, clarify the overall thinking, development goals and key tasks of China's digital trade, and build the "four beams and eight pillars" of China's digital trade development.

Expand the opening up of the digital field to the outside world. Improve data governance systems, explore mechanisms for mutual recognition of international data flows, and regulate and promote the orderly and free flow of data in accordance with law. Expand foreign investment access in the digital market and lower the threshold for foreign investment in the digital sector. Expand the opening up of finance, education, medical care, culture and other fields, and promote the orderly opening of the Internet step by step.

Shaping new momentum for the development of digital trade. It is mainly necessary to base ourselves on the domestic market, make full use of domestic and foreign resources, strengthen the innovation and application of key digital technologies, accelerate the digitalization of trade, give birth to industrial clusters with international competitiveness, and vigorously promote the inclusive and innovative development of trade ecology, so as to provide strong endogenous power and key support for comprehensively enhancing the international competitiveness of digital trade. We will build and improve the infrastructure for digital trade, strengthen the dominant position of enterprises in trade innovation, promote the efficient circulation of data, strongly support the status of international trade hubs, and ensure the high-quality development of digital trade.

Encourage the deep integration of digital technology with many industries such as finance, insurance, entertainment, education, and medical care, promote the transformation and upgrading of traditional trade, cultivate new models and new formats such as financial technology, digital media, software research and development, smart healthcare, smart education, and digital social networking, continue to amplify the positive and external multiplication effects of digital trade, and provide key driving forces for the implementation of the strategy of digital China and the strategy of becoming a trade power.

In addition, enterprises should be supported to expand overseas markets, strengthen the construction of digital trade-related platforms, and actively participate in the formulation of international rules.