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Shanghai Plans to be Digital Hub by 2035

Shanghai is aiming to make the city a global digital hub by 2035 as it pushes forward with its digital city construction plan. The plans include information technology upgrades of industrial and urban management, online economy development and data usage innovation.

Shanghai will head up digital infrastructure and data usage across the country, with upgrades and digital transformation until 2025. Then by 2035, the city will become a global digital hub. Shanghai can boost digital transformation by industrial, talent and data volume advantages. It will also solve challenges like its big population, transportation traffic and cybersecurity.

– Wu Qing, Deputy Shanghai Mayor

The new blueprint covers tasks and targets by 2025, such as 200 intelligent factories and 50 digitalised hospitals. It covers three sectors of digital transformation and innovation: the economy, daily life and management.

Shanghai has built 5G and industrial Internet networks citywide, boosting the digital economy and improving people’s daily life. The city has supported the development of key industries such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and integrated circuits.

In the first nine months, Shanghai’s information service industry revenue grew over 12% year on year, much higher than the city’s GDP growth. For example, the accuracy rate of bus arrival forecast has risen to 97%; 700 digital hotels in Shanghai support fast check-in within 30 seconds and one-click-taxi hailing are installed in communities for elderly people.

The plans will also allow locals to benefit from more digital services such as education, health care, transportation, culture and tourism. In addition, the central bank’s digital currency, the E-Yuan, will be widely available across the city.

Regarding data management, Shanghai will release an official Shanghai data usage policy to resolve issues such as “isolated data islands” and duplicated investment. Data has become a new production factor, a basic and strategic resource, which will be better shared among various regions, like Shanghai and other Yangtze Delta regions. Moreover, Shanghai has outlined its ambition of becoming an international capital for digitalisation by 2035. The city will also set up a new model of urban governance for megacities for other cities and regions in the country.

Shanghai aspires to become a world-leading metropolis with digital infrastructure and a forerunner of the digital economy. It also aims to become an international hub for digital trade and an industry cluster for digital economies. Digital life will become the norm with a further enhancement in the quality and efficiency of public services so that a new paradigm will be set up where everybody enjoys a better digital life. It will seek a holistic approach to digital transformation in terms of economy, daily life and city governance.

Digital infrastructure has played a crucial role during the pandemic such as tracking contacts of infected patients. Online shopping and delivery services also ensured the supply of everyday essentials. The city will accelerate the transformation of all sectors, including manufacturing, scientific and technological research and development, financial services, commercial circulation, shipping logistics and agriculture.

As reported by OpenGov Asia, in China’s 13th Five-Year Plan, one of the goals is to make Shanghai become a science and technology innovation centre with global influence. Recently, Shanghai’s efforts to realise these goals have resulted in a series of achievements.

The city witnessed a series of original sci-tech achievements and participated in multiple major national tasks in the science and technology field. In 2020, papers published by Shanghai scientists in world-leading academic journals accounted for 32% of China’s total. Researchers and scientists from Shanghai also facilitated national-level tasks.

Breakthroughs were made in industries including integrated circuits, biomedicine and AI. Shanghai retained its position as the most attractive Chinese city favoured by foreign talents for the eighth consecutive year last year, with an increasing appeal to high-level professionals.


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