Shanghai Districts focus on digital economy to boost growth

24 Feb 2023

District governments in Shanghai are preparing to boost the city’s digital economy following the pandemic-related disruptions.

Projects in the pipeline include speeding up digitisation in key industries, bolstering the construction of hi-tech enterprise clusters, and improving technical support. 

“There is a wide consensus that the digital economy represents a major trend in the next round of economic development,” according to Wu Qinan, deputy director of Shanghai Jing’an District Science and Technology Commission, this week.

The Jing’an District – a driving force in the development of high-end techs such as artificial intelligence, blockchain and cloud computing - is planning to optimise the digital enterprise ecosystem and focus on attracting more talent. In 2021, growth in the digital industry hit 40% and led to an all-time high of 8% of overall tax revenue in the district.

In addition, Jing’an is hoping to improve digitalisation in sectors such as healthcare, finance and retail within the plans and reinforce the city’s data communication system with more digital infrastructure, Wu added.

This year, Shanghai has set a GDP growth target of 5.5% following 2022’s slowdown. As per the city government’s work report published last month, 18% of overall production would stem from the growth of core industries linked to the digital economy. 

Furthermore, in the Yangpu District, officials announced they would offer support to smart enterprises to boost the digital economy, particularly in terms of applications and tech breakthroughs, along with funding.

Shanghai has been at the forefront of digital economic development, as per findings by the China Academy of Information and Communication. Last year, Shanghai unveiled regulations in support of high-tech sector development, such as the metaverse and artificial intelligence, amongst others.