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"Sense of benefit" highlighted as China strives to build cyber power
April 20,2017   By:Xinhua
BEIJING, April 20, 2017 -- Internet was once virtually unheard of in China's rural areas, but after over two decades, even the most remote villages have access.
 
"I used to spend about 10 days claiming back hospital expenses, but now, one day is enough," said Tian Chenglin, a villager in northwest China's Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, citing the high efficiency of the Internet.
 
Currently, China has over 731 million Internet users, roughly the population of the whole EU, and 695 million mobile phone users.
 
On April 19 last year, President Xi Jinping gave a speech calling for better use of the Internet to benefit the country and the people. This primarily meant the integrated development of the Internet and economy.
 
"It is a historic opportunity for China to develop the Internet and we must grasp it firmly," said Jack Ma, chairman of Alibaba. His company has made huge investment in core technology and popularizing Internet use.
 
INTERNET DRIVEN DEVELOPMENT
 
The Internet has become a driving force for economic growth in China.
 
According to a State Council five-year informatization plan, China aims to expand e-commerce transactions to more than 38 trillion yuan (5.5 trillion U.S. dollars) by 2020, up from 21.8 trillion in 2015.
 
China has upgraded its average broadband speed up to 49 Mbps and will eliminate charges for domestic roaming and long-distance calls this year.
 
According to the China Internet Network Information Center, more than 40 percent of Chinese enterprises currently make sales and purchases online.
 
In addition, China furthered its efforts in poverty reduction through digital economy. In 2016, 158 counties started poverty relief programs involving e-commerce.
 
"Intelligent manufacturing has become a key field in industrial transformation and upgrading," said Lu Wei, secretary-general of the Internet Society of China (ISC).