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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.