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China to boost software sector with enabling laws

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China will ramp up efforts to craft data security standards, data usage rights and ownership legislation as part of the drive to boost its software sector, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) said on Sunday. 

The pledge to improve the legal framework and enhance intellectual property rights protection signifies partially the efforts to address some urgent issues within the software sector amid increasing global economic uncertainty and continuing downward pressure on China’s economy, the MIIT said in a statement on its website. 

The ministry cited several issues such as the scarcity of key technologies including operating systems, the lack of globally competitive companies, and the shortage of advanced and professional interdisciplinary talent. 

Still, information technology is an indispensable core and shaping force of the nation’s economic restructuring and industrial upgrading, the MIIT said in the statement. Along with the commercial rollout of 5G, cutting-edge technologies including blockchain and artificial intelligence have been integrated into traditional sectors at a faster pace. These trends, added to greater policy support, will keep the momentum going in the software sector, according to the ministry. 

In a sign of notable progress, an annual index measuring the comprehensive development of the nation’s software industry was also unveiled by the MIIT on Sunday. The reading came at 128.9 for 2019, up 8.6 points from the prior year and up 1.4 points from the average rise during the previous four years. 

The technology innovation and development environment sub-indices saw a marked uptick, contributing substantially to the index’s rise, an indication that the nation’s software sector is shifting toward being driven by technology innovation with continued breakthroughs made in key software supplies, the MIIT said.

In a separate statement posted Sunday on its website, the ministry released a ranking for the nation’s top 100 companies in 2019 as measured by revenues from software businesses. Huawei topped the list, followed by Haier and Aliyun, Alibaba’s cloud computing unit. 

The companies making the list generated 821.2 billion yuan ($119.71 billion) in software businesses in 2018, an increase of 6.5 percent from the previous year. 

The number of companies reporting 20 percent-plus revenue growth accounted for more than 30 percent of the total. Global Times

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