Beijing to tap emerging tech, including AI

The way forward: Chinese leaders at the opening meeting of the Second Plenary Session of the 16th Beijing Municipal People’s Congress. The work report presented at the meeting shed light on some ambitious plans for the capital city. — AP

BEIJING: China’s capital will develop into a global exemplar city for digital economy with an overall transformation in production, governance and lifestyle driven by digitisation, Yin Yong, mayor of the city, says.

He was speaking at the second session of the 16th Beijing Municipal People’s Congress on Sunday.

In recent years, the city has pioneered in key technology, infrastructure and application related to the digital sector.

“For example, Beijing built 30,000 5G bases last year. It has about half of the country’s generative artificial intelligence (AI) large model products available for the public.

“It has a 160 sq km high-level demonstration zone for automatic driving,” Yin said while delivering a government work report during the opening ceremony of the session.

In 2023, the city’s gross domestic product (GDP) reached 4.4 trillion yuan (US$61.16bil), up 5.2% year-on-year, while the digital economy contributed 42.9% to its GDP, compared with 41.6% in 2022.

Beijing has set a GDP growth target of 5% for this year, according to the government work report.

In 2024, the city will further improve underlying technology of AI and make its AI models as advanced as international ones, promoting its application in government administration, the medical field, industries and life services, according to the work report.

Automatic driving will be applied in more scenarios such as airports, railway stations and urban road cleaning.

The city is developing more emerging digital infrastructure such as 10 gigawatt optical network and Internet of Vehicles to serve the construction of a smart city, the report added.

Luo Aiwu, director of Beijing Building Construction Research Institute Co’s scientific research and quality management department, said at a news conference on Sunday that construction of a smart city aims to bring better living experiences for residents and improve their sense of happiness.

“We can foresee a broader coverage of digital devices,” said Luo, who is also a member of the 14th Beijing Municipal Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference.

“Intelligent transport will ease traffic jams. The Internet of Things can monitor pollution.

“We can also explore more possibilities such as showing the location of barrier free facilities as well as number of tourists at an attraction, on portable devices to improve tourism experience.”

In the latest development, 15 automatic patrolling vehicles last week began to guard industrial parks, subway stations and shopping malls round the clock within a 60 sq km area in the Beijing Economic-Technological Development Area.

It was the first road test for such vehicles in China. — China Daily/ANN

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