Over the past year of 2015, the number of global netizens had exceeded 3 billion and the number of smart phone users had reached nearly 2 billion. The technology cluster represented by cloud computing, big data, intelligence, Internet of Things and mobile Internet shows infinite vitality and huge potential, promoting the human society to speed up entering from the IT age into the DT age.
The rapidly developing new economy has put forward increasingly urgent demands to institutional innovation and governance innovation. How to understand the laws and rules of the new economy? How to stimulate and obtain the social and economic potential possessed by new technologies? How to embrace the golden age belonging to the DT era?
The 2016 Think Tank Summit on New Economy was hosted by AliResearch. Representatives from dozens of think tanks including Bain & Company, McKinsey & Company, The Boston Consulting Group, National School of Development at Peking University, School of Public Policy and Management of Tsinghua University, Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at Renmin University of China and National Academy of Economic Strategy of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences discussed and exchanged deeply on topics such as "China and the world", "traditional economy and new economy", "rural e-commerce", "cross-border e-commerce", "cloud computing and big data" and "platform governance".
Long Yongtu and Zeng Ming, Chief Strategy Officer of Alibaba Group, gave speeches respectively before the opening of the summit.
Long Yongtu was highly in favor of the eWTO initiative proposed by Alibaba Group. He said that establishing new rules for international economy and trade in the DT age was a very good idea which could involve all interested parties of the new economy including governments, enterprises, communities, experts, scholars and international organizations equally to work together positively to establish new rules that are open, fair, efficient and inclusive for international economy and trade in the data age. He indicated that this was very significant because it was not only beneficial to the transformation and upgrade of China's economic society but also expected to have positive effect on promoting the economic and social development of all countries in the world.
Zeng Ming said in the speech that Taobao was a miracle in the history of human economic development which had evolved from a simple online marketing and retail platform to today's Internet economic entity which had taken shape. The biggest value of Taobao is creating an online market with huge network effect. Great amounts of buyers and sellers are gathered on the same online market, which greatly improved the matching efficiency. The horizontal cooperation platform of reticular synergy is the basic structure of the business paradigm in the Internet age, which will replace the pyramid economic structure of vertical management in the age of industrial economy and promote great development of social productivity. The typical feature of the industrial economy's paradigm is "line": assembly line, supply chain and bureaucracy; while the basic feature of the Internet economy's paradigm will be "net".
In the following session with the topic of "China and the world", Ian Morris, an American historian and a professor at Stanford University, Hu Angang, Director of Center for China Studies at Tsinghua University, Simon Baptist, Chief Economist of the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) and Wang Wen, Executive Director of Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at Renmin University of China made predictions and expectations about China's economy and the world economy from different perspectives.
Ian Morris analyzed the reason why the West rose in modern times and dominated the world while the East remained silent for many years from the historical and geographical angles. He considered that the geographical factors decided the pace of social development of all countries around the world in the past. However, the development of the Internet has changed this key factor. Fortune and power are possible to shift, and it is highly uncertain who will dominate the new economy in the future.
Hu Angang considered that in spite of the current national economic downturn, China's economy in the period of the "13th Five-year Plan" had conditions and abilities to reach the growth goal—the actual growth rate exceeds 7%, and to realize the improvement of speed and efficiency of economic growth. In his opinion, there are "five engines" that will stimulate China's economic growth in the following five years: new urbanization, new industrialization, networking, informatization, agricultural modernization and infrastructure modernization, among which the biggest engine is the modernization of infrastructure construction. The popularization of new business infrastructure represented by cloud computing and big data will become the strong engine for China's economic development. Baptist outlined the map of the world economy in 2020 in the speech.
Simon Baptist considered that the economic recovery of the US had obvious performance. The wages for workers are rising and the interest policy of the Federal Reserve also shows great confidence in the economy. The Europe and Japan are still struggling, with the political and currency issues troubling their development. Although China's economic growth is slowing down, the growth rate is still very rapid considering China's economic scale. By 2030, China will become the largest economy.
Wang Wen indicated that according to the data estimation in 2014, China's rate of economic contribution to the whole world reached 49.77% while that of the US was only 35%. In his opinion, this situation made some people view China from two points of view in the past: China threat theory and China collapse theory. Wang Wen considered that "the Belt and Road Initiative" gave the points of view the best response—"There is no threat or collapse. We will provide products for the whole world, connect both ends of Europe and Asia and gradually form a unified large market".
Participating experts also conducted very valuable comparison and analysis on new economy and traditional economy. Chen Wenling, Chief Economist of China Center for International Economic Exchanges, considered that the Internet revolution, the Internet and entity economy were speeding up integration and developing into the new entity economy which grew rapidly. The Internet will lead many industries to have revolutionary changes. Taking the manufacturing industry as an example, Germany's Industry 4.0, the US's Internet industry and China's Made in China 2025 all aim to promote the development of the manufacturing industry by means of intelligence, flexibility and process reengineering, etc. She indicated that "the business model of the new-generation manufacturing industry will be completely different from that of the traditional manufacturing industry, and the e-international trade proposed by Alibaba will be the most vital in the future".
Xia Jiechang, Vice President of National Academy of Economic Strategy of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, indicated that the rise of service economy would be an epochal change which had great significance for China's economy. He emphasized that without information technology and service represented by the Internet and big data, the production efficiency would be low, and people's lifestyle would be inconvenient with no security assurance.
Gao Hongbing, Vice President of Alibaba Group and Director of AliResearch, elaborated three core ideas—the integration of rules, models and technologies. Technology is very important and is constantly changing the world. However, behind technology are the innovation of business models and the change of rules. The generation of TCP/IP is the most important in the Internet. The informatization transition of business models needs rethink, redefinition, discussion and communication.
He pointed out that China's economy and the world economy were undergoing unprecedented change and all circles ardently expected them to get rid of the set pattern and gain a new life. He hoped that more researchers and think tanks around the world would participate in the research of new economy and new governance. At the summit, Gao Hongbing also mentioned the new economy research framework of AliResearch which was like a "scaffold" serving further research by more think tanks and researchers.
Lu Xipeng, the host of the summit from School of Management, National Taiwan University of Science and Technology, and Li Peiyu, Editor-in-Chief of China Business Journal jointly announced "Heading for 2020: Ten Predictions on New Economy by Think Tanks". The predictions were initiated by the organizing committee of the 2016 Think Tank Summit on New Economy and participated by dozens of think tanks around the world.
Ten predictions included: By 2020, China's online retail market scale will be quadrupled compared with 2014 and "buying things from all over the world" will come true (predicted by Bain & Company); by 2020, China's "soft law" system with platform governance as its core will take shape and become the standard commonly observed by the industry (Institute for Information Society Studies); by 2020, the market value of 3D printing will exceed RMB 100 billion and homemade products will become the mainstream (DCCI); cross-border e-commerce will account for 1/3 of China's foreign trade and eWTO will become the new platform and new mechanism for research and negotiation on international trade rules (AliResearch).
Representatives of think tanks, including Gao Peiyong, President of National Academy of Economic Strategy of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Chen Wenling, Chief Economist of China Center for International Economic Exchanges, Yang Yongheng, Assistant Dean of School of Public Policy and Management of Tsinghua University, Zhang Xinhong, Director of Research Department of State Information Center and Executive Chairperson of Information Society 50 Forum, Chen Yougang, global partner of McKinsey & Company and leader of McKinsey Global Institute in China, and Ding Jie, global partner of Bain & Company and leader of Digitization Institute in China, shared their ideas on new economy and new governance respectively.
On the afternoon, the participating experts conducted in-depth discussions on four topics: rural e-commerce, cross-border e-commerce, big data and platform governance.
At last, Jin Jianhang, President of Alibaba Group, said in the speech that since 2008 and 2009, the State Administration for Industry & Commerce of the People's Republic of China had conducted system design which was very good, profound, very sincere and future-oriented with Alibaba and many market participants. The most important system design is that a natural person can conduct commodity transactions on the platform after providing his/her real-name authentication. Industrial and commercial registration was necessary in the past, but a big opening has been provided for commerce which is equal to limited liability companies and the safe harbor principle of the Internet. The most important breakthrough in sharing economy and platform economy is personal access.
He indicated that the research institute of Alibaba was willing to regard itself as a think tank platform. We do not regard ourselves as an institution with arbitrary resources, arbitrary data and arbitrary ideas. We are willing to be open. We are willing to work together with all the people who aspire to face a new DT age in an age with new enterprise and national understanding.
He also made a bold prediction, "Several years later, a law will be released which will stipulate that human beings cannot drive cars and driving cars will be defined as an illegal behavior. This day is possibly coming soon."