Artificial Intelligence, 5G: How Beijing is preparing for its post-coronavirus economic recovery

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With the opening of Hubei Province on March 25, China confirms that it will soon end the paralysis created by the coronavirus. It is even said to be getting back on its feet and could take advantage of the situation to get ahead in certain strategic areas over its biggest competitors.

Is China soon out of the Covid-19 crisis? There is every reason to believe this, based on Beijing’s official statements. The Chinese government announced on March 24 that it will lift travel restrictions on April 8 in the city of Wuhan, the cradle of the epidemic. This will already be the case in Hubei, the region in which Wuhan is located, which will benefit from this measure as of March 25.

A giant step towards a way out of the crisis for the Middle Kingdom, which is now paying all its attention to the revival of its economy, as explained at the microphone of Sputnik, Mary-Françoise Renard, economist, professor at the University of Auvergne and head of the Research Institute for the Economy of China:

“It’s a reality. Work resumes everywhere. Even in Wuhan, the stations will be used from April 8. There will still be health checks and other measures, but there will be more mobility of people. There is also a resumption of production which is certain. ”

According to a senior official of the Chinese Central Bank, China, who weighs 16% of the world economy, will quickly return to equivalent growth rates to those of the pre-coronavirus. Many analysts in China and elsewhere believe that the recovery of the economy will largely depend on households’ willingness to consume after the health crisis has passed.

“In China, where the number of people infected with the coronavirus is falling sharply, we see that consumption is picking up quickly and that household confidence is at the rendezvous,” explains Pascal Cotte, one of the world’s managers Covid-19 platform set up by the Boston Consulting Group.

Ahead of this exit from the crisis, can China really recover economically, while the rest of the world is still confined? In 2018, exports of Chinese goods and services still represented 19.5% of its GDP, a significant share, but which has been decreasing since 2006. However, according to Mary-Françoise Renard, the lack of external demand should not pose a major problem in Beijing.

“China is obviously penalized by the fall in external demand and the existence of value chains. However, it now depends much less on this external demand, but more on its internal demand. The objective of the government for a few years is to develop consumption, and today, it is even more the case. We saw vouchers given to individuals to be able to consume. There will therefore certainly be a rebound in consumption, ”underlines the researcher.

First great power soon to be rid of Covid-19

This early exit from the crisis could even be a golden opportunity for Beijing. While the epidemic peaks have not yet been reached in Europe and the United States, it is difficult to measure the economic impact that SARS-COV-2 will have on these regions. A boon for China that could take the lead in certain strategic areas, including advanced technologies.

“What will be interesting to see is that China will certainly take advantage of the situation to strengthen itself in the fields of artificial intelligence and 5G. It also plans to increase its investments in 5G to levels never reached before. This is part of a long-term strategy, which aims to develop its economic model, by improving the quality of its production and its technological level. And she can take advantage of the situation to achieve her goals, ”says Mary-Françoise Renard.

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