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May 22, 2020

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SMEs can transform with digital infrastructure

ECONOMISTS, political advisers and executives are suggesting that small and medium-sized enterprises should fully leverage digital infrastructure to support economic recovery and business transformation.

Zhou Tongyu, vice chairman of the Shanghai Federation of Industry and Commerce and a member of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, is proposing an integrated platform where even mom-and-pop stores can offer coupons to consumers to boost their business.

Consumption stimulus measures should be long-term efforts instead of just a one-off discount event and the government should include more physical and digital retailers to amplify the effects, she said. 

The number of discount coupons and their frequency should be carefully calculated to target different forms of spending such as for daily necessities or large items. 

Others were concerned about how data insights could be useful for the overall business restructuring. 

Search requests for keywords related to smart infrastructure and online business consulting courses have risen while those for consumer electronics and beauty products had declined, suggesting performance and sentiment varies between business segments, according to a Baidu and Roland Berger report. Economists suggest these digital trends and consumer preferences should be analyzed and used for business restructuring. 

“China’s national strategy to put more focus on cloud computing and artificial intelligence has provided new growth prospects for small and medium-sized enterprises,” said Zhu Wuxiang, professor of corporate finance at Tsinghua University’s School of Economics and Management.


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