Smartphones and mobile internet are key enablers of the digital economy and the rise of mobile payment systems has supercharged their inclusive effect. Photo: iStock

The Chinese government aims to support the healthy growth of new business models, in the latest move to boost consumption and create jobs.

Efforts will be made to further strengthen the digital economy, according to guidelines jointly released by the National Development and Reform Commission and 12 other government departments.

China will work to nurture more independent business owners and support self-employment amid measures to spur new types of private business to create new space for consumption.

According to the guidelines, costs will be lowered for individuals to start businesses online to offer diversified job opportunities.

New individual businesses are expected to create more jobs and vitality for the country’s transforming economy. The Internet Society of China estimated that China’s e-commerce market exceeded 2 trillion yuan (US$285.79 billion) in 2019, employing more than 48 million people.

Efforts will be stepped up in promoting the micro economy and encouraging the innovation of side businesses.

The guidelines highlighted endeavors to promote employment based on diversified channels including social media, e-commerce, short-video and live-streaming platforms.

Measures to explore new modes of online services, accelerate the digital transformation of industries and foster new models of the sharing economy were also listed.

Greater Bay Area airports

China aims to finish the building of a world-class cluster of airports in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area by 2025, according to a development plan unveiled by the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC).

By 2025, the area will continue to be leading globally in terms of scale, competitiveness and innovation capability for civil aviation, CAAC said.

The plan also outlines goals to be achieved by 2035, when the area will boast a fully-fledged world-class airport cluster that is safe, green and smart.

Regional coordination is highlighted in the plan. Efforts will be made to enhance Hong Kong’s status as an international aviation hub, while distinctive roles of airports in Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Macao and Zhuhai will be further strengthened.

GDP growth

China’s GDP grew by 3.2% year-on-year in the second quarter of this year, the National Bureau of Statistics said on Thursday. In the first half of the year, the gross domestic product totaled 45.66 trillion yuan, down 1.6% year-on-year. 

China’s surveyed unemployment rate in urban areas stood at 5.7% in June, 0.2 percentage points lower than that of May. Value-added industrial output, an important economic indicator, went up 4.4% year-on-year in the second quarter as factories stepped up production amid Covid-19 control.

The country’s fixed-asset investment went down 3.1% year-on-year in the first half of 2020, narrowing from the 6.3% decline in the first five months. China’s retail sales of consumer goods declined 3.9% year-on-year in the second quarter.

The story was written by Huang Wanyi and Liu Licong and first published at ATimesCN.com. It was translated by Nadeem Xu.

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