In order to cope with the slowing growth and flagging recovery of the global economy and boostglobal market confidence, during China's presidency in 2016, digital economy was put high onthe agenda for the first time, as part of the G20 Blueprint on Innovative Growth. The 2016 G20Hangzhou Summit, held from September 4th to 5th, passed the G20 Digital EconomyDevelopment and Cooperation Initiative (hereinafter referred to as the Digital EconomyInitiative). This is the first digital economy policy document that was endorsed by G20leaders，which tightly seized the historical chances of the digitization, provided the newdirection, solution and prospect for the regeneration of the world economy.
As the Chair of Digital Economy, China set up G20 Digital Economy Task Force (DETF), whichco-chaired by the United States of America and South Africa. Led by Cyberspace Administrationof China (CAC), DETF consisted of officials and experts from G20 members, guest countries,and international organizations. In the spirit of open, transparent and inclusiveness, CACcooperated closely with DETF members. With six months' hard working, after more than 30conferences, including vide-conferences and face-to-face conferences, nearly a thousand e-mailexchanges, more than 10 rounds of draft circulation, DETF members finally reached consensuson Digital Economy Initiative, which was widely welcomed and highly praised by all.
Digital Economy Initiative outlined the concept, meaning, guiding principles and key areas ofdigital economy. The proposed seven guiding principles are innovation, partnership, synergy,flexibility, inclusion, open and enabling business environment, flow of information for economicgrowth, trust and security. The Digital Economy Initiative identifies six key areas for cooperationin digital economy, including: expand broadband access and improve quality; promoteinvestment in the ICT sector; support entrepreneurship and promote digital transformation;encourage e-commerce cooperation; enhance digital inclusion and promote development ofMSMEs. It also encourages G20 members to strengthen cooperation in policy making andregulation on intellectual property, the promotion of cooperation with respect to independentchoice of development path, transparent digital economy policy-making, the development anduse of international standards, strengthening confidence and trust, and managing radiofrequencyspectrum to promote innovation. In the future, the G20 members agree to continue to work closelyto encourage multi-level exchanges about experience on policy making and legislation, sharebest practices among members, encourage training and research cooperation, and interact withinternational organizations and other engagement group to promote a sound digital economy.
Nowadays, with the rapid development and convergence of ICT, digital economy is experiencinghigh growth, rapid innovation and broad application, is increasingly becoming an important driverfor global economic recovery and growth, and plays a significant role for expanding economicdevelopment, accelerating the transformation and upgrading of traditional industries, promotingsustainable economic development, improving social governance and public service, and drivinginnovation.
Recognizing the importance of digital economy and digital innovation, the United States ofAmerica, the European Union, Germany, the United Kingdom, Australia and many othercountries and regions all prioritize the development of digital economy. Some G20 membersintroduced national digital economy strategies and digital agendas, etc. to promote itsdevelopment. International organizations such as World Bank, OECD and WTO also showedgreat interest in digital economy development by closely tracking the developments andpublishing latest reports. Digital economy is increasingly becoming a hot topic globally.
Chinese government attaches great importance to the development of digital economy. ThroughInternet Power Strategy, National IT development Strategy, National Big Data Strategy, "Internetplus" Action Plan and series of e-commerce strategies and operations, innovation anddevelopment of digital economy is further promoted. Digital economy in China has shown a goodmomentum of development—wider coverage of information infrastructure facilities, globalleading position of its information industry, booming Internet economy, and a number of leadinginternational Internet companies. China had 710 million Internet users and 4.54 million websitesby the end of June, 2016. Internet has been involved deeply into the economic and socialdevelopment and people's lives. In 2015, China's total e-commerce transaction value was over20 trillion yuan. Online trade volumes reached 3.88 trillion, with an increase of 33.3 percent.
G20 Digital Economy Development and Cooperation Initiative is the consensus of all partiesbased on development practices and renewed philosophy of digital economy, pointing out adirection which is fully in line with the trend of historical development, and offering an internationalsolution to help the world economy out of the woods and to realize the innovative, vital, strong,sustained, balanced and inclusive growth. It is believed that greater innovation and cooperationof digital economy will inject new impetus to the economic growth of all countries, andaccordingly, bring new vitality to the world economy and benefits of the development of digitaleconomy to all people around the world.