Chinese President Xi calls for measures against «unhealthy» development of digital economy

SHANGHAI, Jan 15 (Reuters) – President Xi Jinping has called for better regulation and governance of China’s digital economy to guard against its «unhealthy» development, as Beijing aims to boost the sector’s contribution to the country’s growth.

In an essay in the ruling Communist Party’s Qiushi publication on Saturday, Xi called for a focus on key areas including integrated circuits, displays, communications equipment and smart hardware.

China should «cultivate a number of internationally competitive enterprises and leading green firms with control over industrial chains, to create world-class digital industry clusters,» he said.

«We must see that, compared to large and powerful countries in the global digital economy, China’s digital economy is large but not strong, and fast but not superior.»

Xi also called for regulation and standardization to plug regulatory loopholes and prevent «monopolies and disorderly expansion of capital» in the world’s second-largest economy.

«In the course of rapid development, China’s digital economy has also shown some unhealthy and irregular seeds and trends that not only affect the healthy development of the digital economy, but also violate laws and regulations and pose a threat to the national economic and financial security,» he said.

China should also improve its national security system, focusing on strengthening the digital economy’s early warning, prevention and control systems to ensure the security of key technologies, important industries and facilities, strategic resources and leading enterprises.

(Reporting by Andrew Galbraith, Editing in Spanish by Manuel Farías)