State Council Guidelines Seek to Unleash the Power of Information Consumption

On August 24, the State Council released the Guiding Opinions on Further Expanding and Upgrading Information Consumption to Unleash Domestic Demand Potential. The Opinions lays out a plan for increased information consumption to encourage domestic demand in the economy, bolster the employment rate, and bring about industrial upgrading. 
The Opinions are focused on promoting information consumption in four areas, everyday life, public services, emerging industries, and new IT products. These include: 

  • Digital and connected home devices: AR/VR products, wearable devices, commercial drones, service robots
  • Digital products application: digital products supported by IoT, big data, cloud, AI, and other technologies. Connected vehicles, IoV related products, and IoT in agriculture.
  • IT services: Encourage companies to provide IT consulting, research and training services through cloud computing and big data, and to develop trial applications based on block chain, AI and other new technologies.
  • Digital content and services: Promote digital video and audio, video games, and internet literature with stronger copyright protection. Develop IPTV, handheld TV, cable broadband, and other integrated services.
  • Online education and health care: Build comprehensive online courses and a content resources pool; develop smart healthcare devices, and promote online medical services.
  • E-commerce: Encourage e-commerce platforms for rural areas, build third-party industrial e-commerce platforms, and promote cross-border e-commence.

To fulfill the goals set forth by the State Council, the Opinions also call for upgrading  information infrastructure, including expanding 4G networks and launching 5G for commercial use by 2020. Other targets include lowering the cost of information consumption, expanding internet access coverage and speed in rural areas, and supporting the development of smart terminals for low-income people. 
Some of the measures to support the Opinions include

  • Strengthen and reform supervision: Streamline and optimize the administrative process, use negative list management, open up market access in new business models, deepen telecoms reform, open up some basic telecom services from free trade zones (FTZs) to other areas, when appropriate.
  • Build a company credit system for information consumption.
  • Strengthen personal information protection and IPR protection: Build a personal information protection management and regulation system in line with the Cybersecurity Law, and strengthen IPR enforcement on the internet.
  • Increase the security of information consumption: Strengthen cybersecurity through the multi-level protection scheme (MLPS), improve mobile applications and application store security management, regulate the spread of mobile internet information, and encourage third party security assessment and certification.  

The Opinions also include a list of key initiatives with respective stakeholders. For instance, NDRC, MIIT and MOT will take the lead in IoV development. CAC, MIIT, and MPS will be responsible for MLPS and cybersecurity management-related actions.