Internet-based tech one of the keys to Shanghai's future

Updated: 2016-11-11 12:34

By Wu Yiyao in Shanghai(China Daily USA)

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Shanghai's development into a global city of excellence will rely on a greater emphasis on soft power and leveraging resources from fast-developing Internet-based services, said the city mayor Yang Xiong.

Yang made the remark during the 28th International Business Leaders' Advisory Council (IBLAC) last weekend. More than 500 delegates from Fortune 500 companies were in attendance at the event and they discussed a variety of topics pertaining to how the city can benefit and develop Internet-based services and industries.

In the report that Yang delivered on the morning of Nov 6, he said that Shanghai's Internet-based services will not only benefit economic growth but help residents to elevate living standards as well.

Internet-based tech one of the keys to Shanghai's future

According to Yang, information and computing technologies industries in Shanghai contributed some 7 percent to the city's GDP in 2015. These sectors, which have a combined worth of 1.2 trillion yuan ($177 billion), saw the fastest growth among all service industries.

"We are facing new challenges amid the transformation from traditional industries to Internet-based ones, including balancing innovation and regulation, which are not necessarily always mutually-contradictive. Government, enterprises and entrepreneurs need to be prepared for these changes amid transformation and take advantage of the great opportunities," said Yang.

The Shanghai mayor also said that players in the Internet technology-based sectors will in the near future play bigger roles in developing applications that can help users gain better access to urban management, education and medical services at lower costs.

The IBLAC forum was founded in 1989 by former Shanghai mayor Zhu Rongji, who became Chinese premier in 1998. He envisaged the forum as a platform for the world's top business leaders to provide strategic advice on the city's development and the challenges it faces.

Over the past 27 years, the international think tank has grown from 12 members in eight countries to more than 50 members in over 15 countries. Its participants come from all fields of industry and commerce, including finance, manufacturing, information technology, pharmaceuticals and retail. The event is also a platform for the city's mayor to gain insights from a host of market watchers and business leaders.

Kevin Kelly, editor of American magazine Wire and the keynote speaker at IBLAC, said that Shanghai will need to find its unique position in the world and focus on long-term development that goes beyond industrial and commercial progress in its quest to become a global city of excellence.

Martin Sorrell, chief executive of media services firm WPP and chairman of this year's council, added that Shanghai will need a united agenda that can synergize all levels of government, public and private sectors, as well as academic and civil societies so as to prepare the city for a future that is geared toward Internet-based technologies.

Mark Weinberger, the global chairman and CEO of EY, was elected as the chair for the next edition of IBLAC. Weinberg, who was taking over from Sorrell as the chair, said that he will seek new members to bring more perspectives and ideas to IBLAC and will push forward implementations of good ideas from members. He noted that while IBLAC's mechanisms might change under his charge, open and frank communications will nevertheless remain as one of the core objectives of the platform.

(China Daily USA 11/11/2016 page7)