A policy overview of ICT development in Chinese rural areas

(See: An Analysis of ICT Development Strategy Framework in Chinese Rural Areas )


(See also: China's ICT Profile )
  • China is a big agricultural country with 57.01% of the total population living in rural areas.
  • Lack of information in rural areas is a dominant factor resulting in the digital divide.
  • Digital divide is seriously hampering the rural development.
  • Thus, the rural ICT policy and strategy plays a key role in driving economic development and improving quality of life in rural areas.

Policy and Strategy

China's Five-Year Plan
(See: China mapping out the 11th Five-Year Development Guidelines )

The Five-Year Plan for National Economic and Social Development, or the Five-Year Plan, mainly aims to arrange national key construction projects, manage the distribution of productive forces and individual sector’s contributions to the national economy, map the direction of future development, and set targets. The first plan was implemented in 1953. Except for a period of economic adjustment between 1963 and 1965, a total of ten five-year plans have been made and implemented to date. The five-year plan for 2006-2010 is called the 11th Five-Year Development Guidelines.

Since its 10th Five-Year Plan (2001-2005), China has been emphasizing on improving information technology to enhance the levels of economic and social informatization and to improve infrastructure, and narrow the gaps between regions. The main focus of the current 11th Five-Year Plan is to build a socialist new countryside and to build a socialist harmonious society through development strategies such as upgrading industrial structures, education, and human resource development. Accordingly, National ICT Development strategy (2006-2010) was published, with an emphasis on speeding up political, economic, cultural and social development through ICT. Based on the strategies, the ICT framework in agriculture and rural areas was developed in 2007. The aims are to provide information services for farmers, to narrow the digital divide and help move forward the development of rural economy and society.