Hangzhou: Building the First City of China’s Digital Economy


HANGZHOU, China, Oct. 22, 2018 /Xinhua-AsiaNet/– Hangzhou, a city in East China, is planning a creative and courageous action plan, making Hangzhou the “First City of China’s Digital Economy” in five years. The most famous Internet city in China has an industrial renewal iteration path and a more imaginative vision.

“In the future, Hangzhou will be built into an international first-class source with China’s digital economy ideas and technologies, a gathering place for enterprises and talents, a leading place for the development of digital industrialization, a demonstration place for industrial digitization reform, and a place for the export of urban digital governance programs. By 2022, the Hangzhou digital economy development system will basically take shape.” said Hangzhou mayor Zhou Jiangyong.

The idea of building the first city in the national digital economy process is not a daydream. According to the existing statistics, the added value of digital economy in Hangzhou accounts for more than 1/4 of the city’s total economic output and contributes more than 1/2 to the city’s economic growth.

The White Paper of Digital Economy Index of Chinese Cities released in March this year showed that Hangzhou is ranked in the leading category and among the top in terms of data & information infrastructure, city services, city governance and industrial integration.


Hangzhou has been a tourist city famous for its culture and scenery since ancient times, and is honored as “Paradise on Earth”. Today, Hangzhou has a new vitality in China’s economic geography because of the charm and potential have shown while developing digital economy.

Driven by digital economy, Hangzhou has formed advantageous industries such as information software, E-commerce, cloud computing big data, and digital content, with more than 20 leading enterprises such as Alibaba, NetEase and Hikvision emerging prominently; gave birth to the Yunqi cloud town and other characteristic towns; and have gathered scientific research institutions like WestLake University, Zhijiang Lab, Alibaba DAMO Academy, etc.

Thanks to the energy generated by new technologies and new applications, and the excellent urban environment featuring mountains and rivers, Hangzhou is increasingly popular among young Chinese people and foreign entrepreneurs. Five years ago, Yunqi cloud town was a traditional industrial zone. But now, more than 4,200 scientific and technical talents are gathered here.

With the gathering of talents, inspiring stories about entrepreneurship and innovation take place every day in Hangzhou. 602 market entities are born, 109 effective invention patents are issued, and more than 10 entrepreneurial activities are held every day on average.

Today, Hangzhou is striving to become the leading city in China’s digital economy development — building the nation’s first digital economy city. It is expected that by 2022, Hangzhou aims to build several industrial centers with international influence in E-commerce, cloud computing and big data, artificial intelligence, digital content, information security and other fields.

From Jack Ma’s perspective, the city’s digitization degree cannot be measured in the number of companies. What matters is that whether can all the companies, government agencies use these technologies well and make a huge contribution to the development of the city. “Hangzhou should make a trial and demonstration for cities around the world.”


In Hangzhou, you can take subway or buy tea eggs and then use your mobile phone to pay. You can also withdrawal your provident fund by using face recognition technology or book hotel rooms by showing your credit. Not only that, a total of 153 matters can be handled on a mobile phone. Hangzhou is the first city in the country to provide these services.

Just like the “Shenzhen speed” that people were interested in talking about at the beginning of China’s reform and opening up, Hangzhou’s government services are showing “Hangzhou efficiency” by relying on digital transformation.

Most government affairs in Hangzhou have achieved the goal of “once at most”, which relies on the developed digital economy industry.

Hangzhou has also taken the lead in setting up the government administration department of “big data”, which responds to the urban government service process in seconds. At present, nearly 40 billion pieces of data have been collected from 59 departments all over the city. The data are all well collected and fully shared, and the data are transferred more than 2 million times everyday.

The significance of data pooling management lies in the fact that the data resources used to scatter in various departments and be isolated from each other are now connected to each other, which makes the connection and sharing of government data and dynamic update possible, thus contributes to rapid and efficient government services.

As a matter of fact, people in Hangzhou already live in a city of future.


At the Yunqi Cloud Town Computing Conference which was hold in September, Hangzhou government with companies such as Alibaba released Hangzhou “City Brain” 2.0.

Thanks to the precise control of “City Brain”, the traffic efficiency in Hangzhou has been continuously improved. On the list of the most congested cities, Hangzhou dropped from the fifth place in 2016 to the 57th place in the second quarter of this year.

“City Brain” 2.0 has also been applied in many aspects, such as fire fighting, cityscape management, tourism traffic and credit investigation system.

Wang Jian, the chairman of Alibaba technical committee said, the ultimate goal of “City brain” is to allow the data to help cities with thinking and decision-making, and to build Hangzhou into a smart city which is able to adjust by itself and interact positively with citizens.

In January, Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia introduced a scheme to give special vehicles priority from Hangzhou’s “City Brain”, with tests showing that the time for ambulances to arrive at the scene was cut by 48.9%. In the future, “Hangzhou traffic light” may become a new traffic light control system in the world.

According to Jack Ma, being the first city in the national digital economy process is not only about wealth and economic development, but also relies on civilization, governance and security. “Digitization will not create cracks, technologies will make the city a better place.”

Zhou Jiangyong is full of confidence to build Hangzhou the first city in the national digital economy process. He said that “the first city” is the city where digitization drives industry to promote and digital system governs. Hangzhou should wake up sleeping numbers by using modern technological means, for infrastructure transformation, people’s livelihood services, and government services, making Hangzhou a solution-output city with world-class digital management system.

Source: The Information Office of Hangzhou Municipal People’s Government

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