hina craving World Cup breakthroughyant and Yao Mi

China has urged its young guns to play their part in making this year’s FIBA World Cup

a tournament to remember after the host nation discovered its group-stage opponents over the weekend.

Saturday’s star-studded draw ceremony at Shenzhen Bay Arena, where the 32 teams were assigned to eight groups, heig

htened anticipation levels for the event, which will be staged from Aug 31-Sept 15 in eight Chinese cities.

Rising forces such as Spain and Argentina are expected to pose a stiff challenge to t

wo-time defending champion the United States, but after being drawn in a relatively easy Group A with

Cote d’Ivoire, Poland and Venezuela, Team China is also planning to make its mark.

“After the dust settles, I would love to hear from our players that they’ve done their utmost and they’ve made their coun

try proud,” said Yao Ming, chairman of the Chinese Basketball Association, at the ceremony.

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Big breakthroughs at major events enshrine a generation of

players, especially when they happen at home. I hope that 10 years la

ter this team of players will still be remembered for what they did at the World Cup.”

Around 8,000 spectators packed into the arena to witness the draw, whi

ch was conducted by Chinese pop star Yang Chaoyue, a member of the idol group Rock

et Girls 101, and NBA legend Kobe Bryant, and was staged in conjunction with FIBA’s global partner Tencent Sports.

After going 0-5 at the 2016 Rio Olympics and failing to qualify for the last World Cup, in 2

014 in Spain, Asian Games champion China is under heavy pressure to deliver an improved performance at home.

Should China emerge from Group A, it will face one of the top two

teams from a tougher-looking Group B, which features Argentina, Russia, South Korea and Nigeria.

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China will tip off its campaign against Cote d’Ivoire o

  Aug 31, followed by a match against Poland on Sept 2 before facing Venezuela two days later. All three games will be played at the 18,

000-seat Wukesong Arena in Beijing, where China finished eighth at the 2008 Summer Olympics to tie its best record at the Games.

  At the 2010 FIBA World Championship, China beat Cote d’Ivoire 83-73, but its last m

atch against Venezuela, at the 2016 Olympics, ended in a 68-72 defeat. China and Poland have never met before in official competition.

  Despite the favorable draw, Team China’s head coach Li Nan warned against undere

stimating the opposition.Spearheaded by former NBA player Yi Jianlian, fellow center Wang Zhel

in-a second-round draft pick for the Memphis Grizzlies in 2016-and young playmaker Guo Ailun, China’s primary aim

is to finish the tournament as the top Asian team in order to qualify directly for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

  However, Bryant, the tournament’s global ambassador, has urged China to aim even higher.

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I think Chinese basketball needs to get to a place where they

say playing well at one tournament isn’t enough, we want more,” said the Los Angeles Lakers legend, a frequent visitor to China since 1997.

“Now you have to take it to another level … can’t just be comfortable

being here. It’s time to push the next generation to try to get on the medal podium.”

Rescheduled from 2018 to avoid a clash with FIFA’s soccer World

Cup, this year’s tournament has expanded from 24 to 32 teams, who emerged from a revamped quali

fication system that lasted 18 months and aimed to involve as many countries as possible.

“This allows us to go into more markets and to create long-lasting excitement around th

e event,” said FIBA secretary-general Andreas Zagklis, who was appointed in December.

Zagklis is also confident that the joint efforts between FIBA and the CBA will leave a lasting legacy for Chinese basketball after the World Cup.

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We are not here to deliver the Cup and leave. We are here

to stay by making big investments,” said the 38-year-old Greek.

“Of course our sport is very popular in China and organizing the Cup will make it even more popular. A good perfo

rmance by the national team will give it an extra boost. We are harnessing our potential under the leadership of Yao Ming.”

FIBA’s footprint in China has become more noticeable in recent ye

ars. Last June, the governing body unveiled plans to build a “one-of-a-kind” basketball aca

demy in Beijing in conjunction with Beijing Enterprises Group Company Limited to foster young Chinese talent.

And, in collaboration with the CBA, the first-ever FIBA World Basketball Summit was held in Xi’an, Shaanxi province in October.

President Xi Jinping on Monday presided over a symposium in Beijing for teachers of ideological and political theory.

Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee

and chairman of the Central Military Commission, delivered an important speech at the symposium.

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Information consumption vital to China’s economythe US inte

Information consumption has become a new engine for China’s economy, playing a vital role in d

riving domestic demand, creating jobs and pushing forward industrial upgrades, People’s Daily reported.

Last year, China’s information consumption rose 11 percent year-on-year to

5 trillion yuan ($745.39 billion), accounting for 6 percent of the GDP, according to the Internet Society of China.

To further boost information consumption, the Ministry of Industry and Inform

ation Technology and the National Development and Reform Commission unveiled an action plan in August.

According to the plan, by 2020, China’s spending on information consum

ption is expected to be 6 trillion yuan, with average annual growth of more than 11 perce

nt. Information technology is estimated to drive 15 trillion yuan in related consumption.

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Resources like healthcare, education and culture are un

movable. However, internet blurs the boundary and allows people to access high-quality resources without leaving their home.

According to the action plan, China will promote Internet Plus in several sectors such as healthcare, elderly care, education and culture, to boost new con

sumption based on internet platforms, and develop online and offline coordinated consumption.

According to a report from the China E-commerce Research Ce

nter, in 2017, China’s online education market was worth 240.2 billion yuan, up 53.97 perc

ent from the previous year. The figure is expected to grow to more than 400 billion yuan in market scale in 2018.

The upgrade in information capacity usually brings about great changes, Wang Zhenzhong, an engi

neer from Alibaba Group, told the newspaper. “It will upgrade the former consumption and create new consumption sectors.”

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China has been working to increase the access speed

 and reduce costs of internet services, which will be good not only for consumers but also for industrial upgrading.

The country’s three telecom carriers — China Mobile Communications, China United Network Comm

unications Group and China Telecommunications Corp — announced steps to scrap domestic long-distan

ce and roaming charges from Oct 1, 2017, and cancel data roaming fees within the country starting July 1, 2018.

However, increasing speed and cutting charges doesn’t bring less

revenue for telecom operators. According to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, du

ring the first half of last year, revenues from the telecom business rose 4.1 percent year-on-year to 672 billion yuan.

Mobile internet traffic jumped 199.6 percent to 26.6 billion gigabytes. Among them, inter

net usage via phones soared 214.7 percent to 26.2 billion gigabytes, accounting for 98.3 percent of the total.

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Meanwhile, 5G is becoming a new bright spot. In Decem

the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology allocated specific l

ow- and medium-frequency bands to the nation’s three telecom carriers. Currently, these carrie

rs are conducting 5G trial operations in a string of cities, enabling large-scale precommercial use.

According to the action plan, the country will speed up 5G research, and promote the construct

ion of 5G network and demonstration projects, aiming to fully commercialize the superfast technology by 2020.

E-commerce poverty alleviation

In the wake of information consumption’s development in China, e-commerce brings about a new idea for poverty alleviation in rural areas.

In recent years, some people sell local agricultural products nationwide via e-commerce platf

orms. It not only improves the livelihoods of impoverished people, but also contributes to the revitalization of rural areas.

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According to the action plan, by 2020, 98 percent of admin

istrative villages will have optical fiber internet access and 4G network coverage, helping more villagers out of poverty.

As China’s economy turns toward high-quality development, the country has also quickened the pace of industrial upgrading.

Information consumption can optimize and improve industries, reduce costs and promote quality, W

ang said, adding it’s an important factor to boost industrial structure for higher quality deve

lopment.Chinese tech platform Meituan-Dianping has ousted former champion Apple Inc to take the top spot of t

he 2019 Most Innovative Companies chosen by the US business media outlet Fast Company, according to its official website.

Another Chinese tech giant Alibaba Group grabbed the

No 15 spot among the total 50 winners, sought out from businesses across 35 industries.

Let’s take a look at the top 10 most innovative companies in 2019.

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