(Yicai Global) April 19 -- Fifth-generation wireless network, or 5G, is expected to directly create more than three million jobs in China by 2025, according to a white paper on the development of the country's digital economy from the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology.
The commercialization of 5G in China will directly contribute CNY10.6 trillion (USD1.6 trillion) to total economic output between 2020 and 2025 and create an economic added value of CNY3.3 trillion, the paper states, adding that it will indirectly contribute CNY24.8 trillion to output and added value of CNY8.4 trillion.
Compared with fourth-generation wireless network, 5G applications will be combined with broader real economy fields, which will greatly promote the development of industrial internet and form key infrastructure to support digital transformation of the economy and society, said Yu Xiaohui, chief engineer at the CAICT.
China's digital economy continues to expand in scale, amounting to CNY31.3 trillion last year, making up over one-third of gross domestic product and providing just shy of one-quarter of all jobs. The digital economy contributed over two-thirds of GDP growth last year, surpassing that of some developed countries, and it has become a key force for driving the country's development.
The digital economy will also increase the risk of structural unemployment though it is conducive to stabilizing jobs, Yu said using robots as an example.
He said that China's manufacturing industry is at the middle to low-end of the global value chain, and it is mainly engaged in routine work such as production and assembly. It is highly probable that low-skilled workers will be replaced by machines, creating huge pressure on employment.
The CAICT is a direct research unit of China's industry ministry.
Editor: William Clegg