On March 7th, the State Council’s institutional reform plan was announced:
It is proposed to reorganize the Ministry of Science and Technology, and while strengthening macro management responsibilities, delegate some specific industry responsibilities to departments such as the Ministry of Agriculture, the Development and Reform Commission, and the Ministry of Ecological Environment.
At the same time, it is proposed to establish a national data bureau to comprehensively promote the planning and construction of digital China, digital economy, and digital society.
Behind the two major top-level plans, there is a common trend that China should vigorously develop the digital economy. So, how will this reform work and what impact will it bring?
Vigorously developing the digital economy and promoting a new nationwide system
After years of medium to high speed economic development, China’s economic aggregate has steadily ranked among the top two in the world. How to ensure sustained and stable medium to high speed development has become an important booster for the construction of digital China and the development of the digital economy. In response, the national level has already demonstrated a firm determination to develop the digital economy.
In February this year, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and the State Council issued the “Overall Layout Plan for the Construction of Digital China”, which clearly stated that it is necessary to strengthen, optimize, and expand the digital economy, and support the development and expansion of digital enterprises.
On March 5, Premier Li Keqiang stated in a government work report that we should accelerate the construction of a modern industrial system, “vigorously develop the digital economy, enhance the level of normalized supervision, and support the development of the platform economy.”
At the same time, the government work report pointed out that “science and technology policies should focus on self-reliance, improve the new national system, and give full play to the organizational role of the government in tackling key core technologies.”.
The restructuring and establishment of the two State Council institutions is one of the key measures to develop the digital economy and promote a new nationwide system. This indicates that the country is preparing to develop the digital economy from the reform of ministries and commissions, and coordinating the development blueprint of digital China.
In the State Council’s institutional reform plan, the specific changes made by the Ministry of Science and Technology include:
Strengthen the Ministry of Science and Technology to promote the construction of the new national system, optimize the entire chain management of scientific and technological innovation, promote the transformation of scientific and technological achievements, promote the integration of production, education, and research, and integrate science and technology with economic and social development. Strengthen macro management responsibilities such as strategic planning, institutional reform, resource planning, comprehensive coordination, policies and regulations, and supervision and inspection, and retain national basic research and applied basic research, national laboratory construction, and major national science and technology projects The construction of a national technology transfer system, the transfer and transformation of scientific and technological achievements, and the integration of industry, university, and research, the construction of a scientific and technological supervision and evaluation system for the construction of regional scientific and technological innovation bases, the construction of scientific and technological integrity, international scientific and technological cooperation, the construction of scientific and technological talent teams, and national scientific and technological awards.
The Ministry of Science and Technology formulates plans and policies for promoting agricultural and rural development through science and technology, and the responsibility for guiding rural scientific and technological progress falls to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs. The Ministry of Science and Technology organizes the formulation of plans and policies for promoting social development through science and technology, which are in the charge of the National Development and Reform Commission, the Ministry of Ecological Environment, the National Health and Health Commission, and other departments. The Ministry of Science and Technology will organize the formulation of high-tech development and industrialization plans and policies, guide the construction of national independent innovation demonstration zones, national high-tech industry development zones, and other science and technology parks, and guide the development of high-tech industries. Science and technology service industry, technology market, and technology intermediary organizations are included in the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. The responsibility for introducing foreign intelligence from the Ministry of Science and Technology is assigned to the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, and the National Bureau of Foreign Experts Affairs is assigned to the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security.
The plan for establishing a national data bureau proposes:
The National Data Bureau is responsible for coordinating the construction of data infrastructure, the integration, sharing, development, and utilization of data resources, and the planning and construction of digital China, digital economy, and digital society. The National Development and Reform Commission is responsible for this.
The Central Cyberspace Office is responsible for studying and formulating the construction plan for digital China, promoting the informatization of public services and social governance, promoting the construction of smart cities, developing and sharing important national information resources, and promoting cross industry and cross-border exchange of information resources. The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) is responsible for coordinating and promoting the development of the digital economy, organizing the implementation of the national big data strategy, promoting the construction of data element infrastructure systems, and promoting the layout and construction of digital infrastructure.
In general, the reorganization and establishment of the two institutions can, on the one hand, solve the capacity issues of domestic digital China or digital economy construction, and on the other hand, provide a mechanism and institutional guarantee for the construction of digital China. The overall coordination ability for scientific and technological innovation will be further enhanced.
Reconstruct the Ministry of Science and Technology twice in five years to “slim down” and promote system innovation
In fact, this is not the first time that the Ministry of Science and Technology has embraced reform.
In 2018, the State Council reorganized the Ministry of Science and Technology, proposing to integrate the responsibilities of the Ministry of Science and Technology and the National Bureau of Foreign Experts Affairs, and reorganize the Ministry of Science and Technology as a constituent department of the State Council. The Ministry of Science and Technology reserves the brand of the National Bureau of Foreign Experts Affairs. The National Natural Science Foundation Committee is now under the management of the Ministry of Science and Technology.
In this institutional reform, the Ministry of Science and Technology has significantly reduced its organizational structure, and its specific management responsibilities have shrunk. In addition to research funding, industry specific science and technology policy formulation has also returned to task oriented ministries and commissions.
Many science and technology policy experts believe that the restructuring of the Ministry of Science and Technology is very intensive, but “downsizing” does not mean that the Ministry of Science and Technology is being weakened, on the contrary, it is to strengthen science and technology.
Guan Chenghua, President of the Capital Institute of Science and Technology Development Strategy, believes that through this reform, the relationship and subdivision of functions among different functional departments of the State Council have been straightened out, effectively avoiding multiple management, and the actual operational efficiency of various institutions will be significantly improved; The process of governance and decision-making will be smoother to avoid various obstacles; When dealing with various issues, they will be more rapid and their coping ability will be significantly improved. China’s scientific and technological innovation governance system and capacity will reach a new level, and its ability to respond to international risks and challenges will also be stronger.
“On the other hand, the new reform proposal puts more emphasis on the overall coordination function of the Ministry of Science and Technology for the national management of scientific and technological innovation, with a focus on undertaking the macro and partial mesoscopic management of scientific and technological innovation. The specific management functions of relevant industries and industries are assigned to other relevant departments. Overall, the division of responsibilities between different departments is clearer and clearer, and the new division of labor is more conducive to the promotion of specific work in the development of scientific and technological innovation.” “Action and implementation.” Guan Chenghua said.
Liu Zhongmin, a member of the CPPCC National Committee, an academician of the CAE Member, and the director of the Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, also believed that the Ministry of Science and Technology had previously undertaken a lot of transactional responsibilities. This reorganization plan has assigned these responsibilities to other departments, so that the Ministry of Science and Technology can focus on a more macro layout design, better give play to the national system advantages, plan and organize strategic research, and more easily coordinate the national scientific and technological forces. At the same time, some experts believe that the restructuring of the Ministry of Science and Technology twice within five years is a direct reflection of the country’s deepening reform of the science and technology system, but also reflects changes in the international environment.
Li Zhimin, the former director of the Science and Technology Development Center of the Ministry of Education, said that in the past, we used to follow and imitate scientific research, while technology was mainly introduced. Our economy can still develop rapidly. Now that the international environment is under pressure, we must develop our own research and development.
Liu Yidong, a researcher at the Institute of the History of Natural Science of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and director of the Center for Science, Technology and Social Research, also believes that one of the biggest problems in China’s scientific and technological development is to strengthen basic research, pursue original innovation, achieve self-reliance, and get rid of the “choke” dilemma.
“The most critical change is the sudden increase in the difficulty of scientific research. Copying assignments is easy, but exploring in unmanned areas is very difficult. If the difficulty of introducing, absorbing, and following up scientific research is 1, the difficulty of self-reliance and original innovation is not 3 times 5 times, 10 times 8 times, but a sudden increase of 100 times, or even higher.” Liu Yidong said.
As can be seen, this institutional reform of the Ministry of Science and Technology aims to give better play to the national institutional advantages and provide more new impetus for accelerating the construction of a world science and technology power and achieving high-level science and technology self-reliance and self-reliance.
Building a data element market, coordinated by the National Data Bureau
Data is regarded as a new production factor in the digital economy era. In recent years, the country has continuously promoted the construction of a data factor market.
In December 2022, the introduction of the “Twenty Data Articles” clarified the main line of adhering to promoting the efficient circulation and use of data compliance and empowering the real economy, and initially formed the “four beams and eight pillars” of a data based system.
The establishment of the National Data Bureau is undoubtedly another important measure taken by the country to implement the data development strategy, highlighting the country’s strategic arrangement for implementing the spirit, principles, and measures of the “Twenty Data Articles”, and complying with the requirements of the era of accelerating the development of the digital economy.
According to industry experts, the establishment of the National Data Bureau is conducive to solving the current difficulties in data circulation and utilization, and rapidly promoting the construction of the data element market.
Ma Yanxin, a researcher at the Law School of South China Normal University and director of the Research Center for Digital Government and the Rule of Law in the Digital Economy, said that data management involves multiple departments and a wide range. In the past, it was decentralized governance, involving the network information department, the industry information system, the National Development and Reform Commission, the State Council Office’s e-government office, the Ministry of Public Security, and so on. This has resulted in data being dispersed in different departments and various links.
“Currently, the country needs to vigorously build a data element market. Previously, the decentralized management mechanism had some pain points and could not adapt to this demand. The National Data Bureau was established to take the lead in promoting the future system construction and related investment construction,” Ma Yanxin said.
In general, the National Data Bureau will coordinate and promote the construction of various basic systems from top to bottom, which is expected to strengthen the top-level design of data element related systems.
On the one hand, enhance national support for the construction of data trading systems and mechanisms, as well as data infrastructure construction, and use specialized departments to promote the development of the data industry;
On the other hand, it is to increase the synergy between systems and policies through high-powered departments, open up data links, and achieve data integration, thereby accelerating the circulation of data resources across the country and consolidating the foundation for the healthy development of the digital economy.https://www.stoneitech.com/
In other words, the establishment of the National Data Bureau will promote the entire data industry and even the digital economy into a fast lane.
According to Pan Helin, co director and researcher of the Research Center for Digital Economy and Financial Innovation at the International Business School of Zhejiang University, the establishment of the National Data Bureau will have a positive impact on the development of the big data industry and artificial intelligence industry at the data application level, including the big data infrastructure industry, including data collection, storage, processing, cleaning, and pre labeling, It also contributes to the field of computing power and algorithms supported by data, including intelligent chips for terminal computing power and intelligent computing centers and data centers for cloud computing power, which will benefit the ICT equipment industry in the future.
Li Guangju, Secretary of the Party Committee and President of Unicom Digital Technology Co., Ltd., believes that the establishment of the National Data Bureau fully reflects the importance attached to data production factors at the national level, which means that the data element market will usher in a golden period of rapid and orderly development, bringing new development opportunities for digital technology enterprises such as Unicom Digital Technology. As the main force in the construction of digital China and a pioneer in digital technology integration and innovation, Unicom Digital Technology has the leading practical experience in massive data in China, maintaining industry leadership in data governance, data services, data applications, data security, and other fields. In the future, it will continue to strengthen digital technology innovation and help the country consolidate its digital infrastructure.
Feng Jin, Assistant President of China Electronics Cloud, also stated that the establishment of the National Data Bureau will further consolidate the foundation for the construction of digital China, and the construction of its digital infrastructure will also be based on domestic software and hardware to build a cloud based high security digital infrastructure in the future. As a cloud computing brand built by CEC, CEC Cloud is relying on CEC’s improved layout of the autonomous computing industry and efficient and open market mechanism to create an autonomous computing system output platform, providing a high security digital infrastructure for national major projects, governments, and key industries with data age.
It is worth noting that this adjustment does not mention the specific relationship between the National Data Bureau and local data management bureaus. How these local institutions coordinate with the National Data Bureau, as well as how the National Data Bureau coordinates with departments such as the Network Information Office and the National Office of Electronic Government, all of which require further detailed rules to be issued.
The construction of “Digital China” and the “self-reliance and self-reliance” of science and technology are becoming the main direction of high-quality development of China’s industrial digitization. The clarification of the new functions of the Ministry of Science and Technology and the establishment of the National Data Bureau will form support in terms of institutional mechanisms to more effectively implement and implement national key strategies. When the horn of scientific and technological innovation blows again, China’s scientific and technological strength is expected to move from quantitative accumulation to qualitative leap.
On March 7th, the State Council’s institutional reform plan was announced: