Via China Daily

Employees promote online mobile phone sales via livestreaming at a shopping center in Zhengzhou, Central China’s Henan province, on March 13, 2020. [Photo/Xinhua]

Premier urges greater recognition of digital sector’s ‘vital role’ in virus battle

China will further deepen reform of government functions and foster new drivers of growth to keep employment stable, such as cultivating new forms of industry in the digital economy, the State Council’s executive meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang decided on Tuesday.

“Keeping employment stable is our top priority this year. And smaller firms are crucial in providing employment. Related departments must work in synergy to support those firms,” Li said.

It was pointed out that as the epidemic situation continues to ease, while maintaining necessary containment measures, unreasonable restrictions that hinder the resumption of work should be lifted to enable more people to return to work and resume earning their income at the earliest possible opportunity.

Reform of government functions will be deepened, said a statement issued after the meeting. The recent beneficial policies for businesses should be delivered in a straightforward way, and procedures ought to be handled online as much as possible to swiftly deliver benefits to companies, especially micro, small and household businesses.

“We must resolutely deepen the reform of government functions. Temporary control measures that are no longer necessary must be removed, clearing away unreasonable impediments,” Li said.

He added that the authorities need to enhance support for internet-based companies, and related departments should remain highly aware of their needs.

The premier urged full recognition of the “vital role” that this sector has played in the fight against the epidemic.

The meeting called for intensifying support for the digital economy to cultivate new forms of industry and create new jobs and professions. Traditional industries should upgrade themselves more rapidly by harnessing the industrial internet and developing online and cloud services.

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The further integration of online and offline services will be promoted, focusing on elderly care, childcare, domestic services and other sectors with high potential for employment creation.

In addition, platforms will be further developed to provide online employment and social security services for those engaged in flexible employment.

The meeting called for harnessing the full power of mass entrepreneurship and innovation. Entrepreneurship and innovation demonstration centers and incubators will receive greater support in order to create more opportunities for university students in finding employment or starting businesses.