China to accelerate high-level opening-up of ICT sector
Multinational companies enjoy development dividends in vibrant market
Published: Jul 19, 2023 08:57 PM
Photo: VCG

Photo: VCG

China's commitment of opening-up will not waver despite the complex international situation, and the country is striving to live up to its words and doing things that conform to globalization and serve the common interests of all parties, a senior government official said on Wednesday.

"We will continue to pursue high-level opening-up of the information and communications technology (ICT) sector and manufacturing, while shore up a market-oriented and law-based international business environment," Zhao Zhiguo, chief engineer of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), said during a press conference.

The ministry will actively give play to the role of inter-governmental multilateral cooperation mechanisms and strengthen foreign policy coordination to maintain the stability and smoothness of industrial and supply chains, Zhao said. Efforts to boost global digital cooperation will ramp up, he added.

Industry analysts said that China is expected to deepen international cooperation on a variety of fields, such as information and telecommunications standards, tech innovation and deepening industrialization, as China's further opening-up will ensure more opportunities to foreign enterprises.

"China constantly boosts the opening-up of the country's information and telecommunication sector including telecom R&D and equipment manufacturing, with many multinationals including Apple, Samsung, Nokia and Qualcomm all being the beneficiaries," Xiang Ligang, director-general of the Beijing-based Information Consumption Alliance, told the Global Times on Wednesday.

Qualcomm sells chips to Chinese smartphone manufacturers such as OPPO, Xiaomi and Vivo, which account for about 60 percent of the US chipmaker's annual revenue. 

Nvidia's artificial intelligence (AI) chips were in great demand in China before the Biden administration's export restriction, and China accounts for one-fourth of the US firm's revenue, Xiang said.

In a sign of confidence in China's development, Qualcomm opened its first innovation lab for connected vehicles in China, the US chip giant's sixth innovation center co-built with a Chinese partner, read a press release on Qualcomm China's WeChat account.

Attracted by the huge Chinese market, Intel reportedly has introduced its latest Gaudi2 processor, specifically designed for deep-learning applications in AI, in the Chinese mainland following in the steps of Nvidia, according to media reports.

"Unlike the containment and suppression of Chinese tech firms by the US government, China insists on win-win cooperation and welcomes foreign enterprises to compete in the Chinese market and enjoy the country's development dividends," Xiang said.

China is one of the most vibrant markets globally, with its 5G network coverage, smartphone sales and mobile internet innovations leading the world. As a result, many foreign firms in the information and telecom sector can't afford to lose the Chinese market, Fu Liang, an independent tech analyst, told the Global Times.

The reckless attack on Chinese tech sector by the US will backfire and destabilize global supply chains. However, China will continue to open its door wider and deepen international cooperation to contribute to the healthy and sustained development of the global telecommunications industry, Fu said.

As of end-June, more than 2.93 million 5G base stations were put into service in China, with the number of 5G smartphone users reaching 676 million and the number of connected Internet of Things devices hitting 2.12 billion, according to the MIIT.

Zhao pointed to the country's efforts to boost the development of the 5G network, while accelerate 6G research and development, so as to build a solid foundation for developing China into a manufacturing hub and digital economic power.

China is expected to promote high-level opening up of the country's cloud services and other relevant sectors to provide more opportunities for foreign companies, Fu said.

Along with the constant removal of restrictions for foreign investment in China's manufacturing sector, the MIIT actively implements national treatment of foreign enterprises and encourages foreign companies to strengthen investment in the country's information, high-end equipment and smart manufacturing segments, said Zhao.