China unveils 'Internet Plus' plan to fuel growth

China on Saturday unveiled an "Internet Plus" action plan aimed at integrating the Internet with traditional industries to create a new engine to fuel growth, as the world's second largest economy shows signs of flagging.

PTI| Last Updated: Jul 04, 2015, 22:13 PM IST

Beijing: China on Saturday unveiled an "Internet Plus" action plan aimed at integrating the Internet with traditional industries to create a new engine to fuel growth, as the world's second largest economy shows signs of flagging.

The notion of "Internet Plus" was mentioned by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang in March when delivering the government work report.

China's "Internet Plus" action plan will integrate mobile Internet, cloud computing, big data and the Internet of Things with modern manufacturing, to encourage the development of e-commerce, industrial networks, and Internet banking, and to help Internet companies increase their international presence, Li said.

The campaign is very important in creating a new engine for economic growth, said Premier Li.

According to the action plan, China will push forward the integration of the Internet and traditional industries, fuel its expansion from consumption industries to manufacturing.

The action plan maps development targets and supportive measures for key sectors which the government hopes can establish new industrial modes by integrating with Internet, including mass entrepreneurship and innovation, manufacturing, agriculture, energy, finance, public services, logistics, e-commerce, traffic, biology and artificial intelligence, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

"The government aims to further deepen the integration of the Internet with the economic and social sectors, making new industrial modes a main driving force of growth by 2018," according to the action plan.

By 2025, Internet Plus will become a new economic model and an important driving force for economic and social innovation and development.

The action plan comes as China enters a crucial period for deepening reform and restructuring after the economy registered a growth rate of 7.4 per cent in 2014, its lowest pace in 24 years.

China's economic growth slowed to 7 per cent in the first quarter of the year, its weakest performance in six years.

China has the most Internet and cell phone users in the world.

The country had 649 million Internet users by the end of 2014, and some 557 million used cell phones to access the Internet, according to the China Internet Network Information Centre data.