I.V. Danilin  pp.  25-39

Abstract. The article analyses political and socio-cultural challenges of digital economics development as exemplified by PRC e-business. The novelty of the research is determined by the absence of sufficient coverage of telecommunications and other digital technologies (such as cloud computing, etc.) in literature, and due to the fact that the subject area is still on the make. The analysis is based on the study of relevant literature, Chinese and international statistical and analytical data and PRC official records. Digital economics as a factor of overcoming long-term challenges of progress is among PRC top priorities, while the state policy evolves from bridging the gap between digital divide and maximization of economic and social potential of digital economics. The adjustment of state policy models is also a serious problem. The rate of changes in the sphere of markets and technologies outpaces the state’s adequate reaction, and the efforts of such “digital giants” as BAT (Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent) are able to modify the situation but in part only. The principal thing is that digital markets fail to fit into the “catch-up” model because technologies and practices are only emerging, innovative ecosystems and digital businesses cannot grow effectively with the help of dirigiste methods of management, and political tools are aimed at industrial development. The BAT’s success is basically due to the lack of systematic regulation. Advances in state policy require institutional and political transformations as well as the new elites’ consensus, in view of the close connection between digital economics and socio-economic goals of the party and the governance. The state policy is at its early stage yet. But its success will determine the future of Chinese digital economics and the attendant results of its development.

Keywords: digital economy, national policy, online markets, digital divide, digital business, institutions