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A report by Dentsu Aegis Network found that the Chinese population is the most optimistic about a digital future, despite ranking low in terms of the speed of digital development.. Source: Shutterstock

China most optimistic about digital future

AUTOMATION and artificial intelligence have contributed to the fear that machines will soon replace a significant amount of jobs.

However, China seems to have a very different view on the matter. Nearly three-quarters of the population are optimistic that digital technology and AI will have a positive impact on work and life in general.

About two in three people also believe that emerging digital technologies such as AI and robotics will create job opportunities over the next decade. This is highly irregular when compared to the pessimistic global average of only 25 percent.

The results were highlighted in a recent report by Dentsu Aegis Network.

China has been actively pouring money into building a digital economy. Just recently, the Chinese government announced that they will invest CNY100 billion (about US$14.4 billion) for developing its digital economy in the next five years.

According to official figures, China’s digital economy is worth CNY27.2 trillion (about US$3.8 trillion).

The report also highlighted that out of the 10 countries surveyed, the Chinese population is the most optimistic about their level of digital literacy.

More than two-thirds of people in China believe that formal education (e.g. school, college, university) has given them the technology skills and knowledge they need to prepare for the digital economy.

“This transition to a digital economy represents an unparalleled opportunity to drive economic growth and change lives,” said Susana Tsui, CEO of Dentsu Aegis Network China, in a statement.

Other countries featured in the report include the UK, Spain, US, Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Russia, and Japan.

Although the Chinese are optimistic towards their digital future, there still remains a lot that needs to be done to deliver that expectation.

Despite heavy investments in new technologies, as well as new innovations, the country ranks 8th out of 10 countries in relation to the speed of digital economy growth. The US remains a leader in this category.

“Ensuring access to the right skills, building confidence in new products and services, as well as establishing the right norms and protocols around sharing data, are all essential elements of a future-proof strategy,” Tsui advised.

Overall, China ranks third out of 10 countries in terms of how successful they are in building a digital economy that works for all in society.