By Peng Xunwen
The digital economy, with information technology at its core, has become a new engine driving China’s economic recovery and high-quality economic and social development in recent years.
It is inspiring new industries, business forms and models, bringing huge changes to the life and ideas of the young generations. Many young people have carved out a niche in the sector of the digital economy and are constantly promoting social progress.
Geru Drolma, 25, is a Tibetan short video blogger that owns millions of followers on the internet from Daocheng county, Ganzi Tibetan autonomous prefecture of southwest China’s Sichuan province. She grew up helping his parents with farm chores.
Five years ago, Geru Drolma occasionally shared a video of herself digging caterpillar fungus on the internet and it soon went viral. Later, she started recording her life with short videos revealing rural lifestyles, which has gained her numerous followers.
In 2019, Geru Drolma jointly started a cooperative with her fellow villagers to sell products pick in the mountains, such as caterpillar fungus and matsutake.
“My smartphone changed my life, and it has brought me to a broader world together with the internet,” Geru Drolma said.
New employment models and careers are popping up as the digital economy develops, such as networked collaborative manufacturing, working from home, e-commerce, digital entertainment, online marketing and online delivery. These jobs have become a choice for many young people.
Over 20 of the 56 new job categories released by China’s Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security are about the digital economy.
A recent survey by China Youth Daily suggested that 75.1 percent of the young respondents were willing to find a job or start a business in the sector of the digital economy.
“New careers featuring digital economy are not only a stage where the young people can realize their dreams, but also an important part of and an engine driving economic and social development,” said Liu Donghao, a research associate with the Institute for Contemporary China Studies, Tsinghua University.
Compared with traditional jobs, these new jobs come in more diverse forms, and are more interesting, flexible, tech-ish, digitalized, intelligent and internet-based, Liu added.
With the accelerating construction of new infrastructure and upgrading internet technologies, young people are becoming a major force driving the development of the digital economy and social progress.
Fu Zhenbang, vice president of the All-China Youth Federation, said in a sub-forum of the recently held 2022 World Youth Development Forum that China has always placed a high value on empowering youth to promote the development of the digital economy.
In China, young people account for over half of the workforce in digital technology-based industries that take innovation as core competitiveness, Fu said.
Wang Yuntao, a deputy chief engineer of a cloud computing and big data research institute of the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology, believes that young people today can turn digital programs into actual services by using artificial intelligence, big data, blockchain, and cloud computing technologies, so as to drive the development of various industries and promote social progress with digital technology.
Given the important role played by the digital economy in the promotion of global economic development, enhancing youth cooperation and building a global web of trust has become inevitable for the world to achieve digital civilization.
Chief economist of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology Xu Kemin noted that China will keep holding the principle of joint contribution and shared benefits, and give play to international collaboration and complementary advantages, to promote wide and smooth circulation of digital technologies, standards and products around the world.