Internet industry drives development of G20 Summit’s host city
By Qu Pei from the People’s Daily
As the host of the two-day G20 Summit that is scheduled to kick off on September 4, Hangzhou is stepping further into the media spotlight. The city, one of the seven ancient capitals of China, is renowned not only for its historic and cultural connections, but also for the potential for development brought by its prosperous Internet industry.
Hailed as China’s e-commerce hub, the city is home to a number of e-commerce websites and the highest number of small and medium-sized enterprises nationwide.
It is also home to e-commerce giant Alibaba, whose trading volume almost equals the annual GDP of some developed countries. More than 10 million merchants and 423 million consumers use the Alibaba platform, whose transaction volume has reached a total of 3.09 trillion yuan ($462 billion).
Dubbed the “Home to the E-commerce in China” by the China Electronic Commerce Association in 2008, the city is now building itself into a global e-commerce hub.
What’s more, the city tops the world in terms of mobile payments. According to a report issued by an institute with Peking University in July, Hangzhou topped the domestic market when it comes to the Internet Finance Development Index.
With the popularity of mobile payment systems, some have joked that Hangzhou is a city where you can enjoy a cash-less lifestyle, as nearly everything, including meals, taxis, travel and grocery purchases, can be paid online.
Currently more than 95 percent of the convenience stores and 98 percent of the taxis in the city offer online payment options. A pilot project for mobile payment for public busses was also launched on August 16, and a similar plan for subway is also being drafted.
Giving priority to the Internet industry, Hangzhou is now devoting itself to inclusive finance with an aim to popularize the use of financial services with infrastructure such as water, electricity and gas services.
Statistics released by the National School of Development at Peking University showed that Hangzhou, with its excellent performance in mobile payments, credit investigation, financial services, investment and insurance, topped 337 Chinese cities from 2011 to 2015 in terms of inclusive finance.
The Internet also drives the prosperity of industries like Internet finance and e-commerce.
The Information economy has grown into a major engine for the city. With a year-on-year growth of 25 percent, the added value of the information economy in 2015 amounted to 231.38 billion yuan, contributing to 23 percent of the city’s GDP.