From November 9 to 11, network professionals will have their eyes on the Word Internet Conference (WIC) hosted annually by the Chinese government. This event, which takes place in Wuzhen, Zhejiang province, is an opportunity for China promote its governance model Page. Several thousand participants from 120 different countries should be there.
A shared digital future?
For this 2022 edition, the theme is as follows: Towards a shared digital future in a connected world – Building a community with a shared future in cyberspace “. In total, nearly 2,000 representatives of governments, international organizations, technology companies of all kinds and research institutes are expected, according to Ren Xianliang, Secretary General of WIC.
Some of the leaders of Huaweifrom Alibaba, but also from the Russian antivirus giant Kaspersky and Indian technology company Infosys will be in attendance. They will be invited to share their views on topics such as the digital economydigital society during and after the Covid-19 pandemic as well as artificial intelligence and ethics.
According to South China Morning Mail, each topic covered will be subject to a sub-forum where any registered person can participate in exchanges, either on-site or online. With this year’s theme, sub-forums should appear dedicated to cyberspace, digital collaboration and development, cyber security, digital health and technology in industry.
This year’s theme also fits the strategy that China will set, especially in terms of virtual reality. On November 1, according to Reuters, the Middle Kingdom presented its first action plan dedicated to virtual reality. At least 25 million VR devices are expected to be produced by 2026. The government wants this market to cross the €45 billion threshold through the sale of this hardware and accompanying software.
A 2022 edition with fewer Western participants and a strong Chinese presence was supposed
If the show is an opportunity to meet and better understand the Chinese vision of Internet governance, WIC is increasingly shunned. With the reinforced controls in China with Covid-19, but also with the repressive measures imposed by China. towards Big Tech and different US restrictionsforeign participants, especially Western ones, travel less and less to Wuzhen.
Last year, Tesla CEO and the very last owner of Twitter, Elon Musk, had participated in this remote conference, using a video presentation broadcast on the opening day of the show. The Space X leader took the opportunity to announce that the personal data of Tesla’s Chinese customers will only be stored in China. Cristiano Amon, CEO of Qualcomm, also addressed the same process and went to AI World Conference from Shanghai.
WIC will also be the occasion to present the Report on the development of the Internet in China, but also worldwide. In October, the Chinese government stated that it wanted the event to become a truly international organization whose purpose would be to promote sovereign cyberspace with partner countries: Algeria, South Korea, Russia, Sudan and Somalia.