BEIJING, July 8, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — During a friendly competition called “A Digital Day Tour of Beijing” on June 17, young participants from several countries vied to unlock their missions in Beijing via some of China’s most popular mobile apps, including hailing rides, learning about the ancient sage Confucius (551-479 B.C.), hopping on a shared bike, and posting pictures of their accomplished tasks on Weixin, China’s domestic version of the WeChat super app. Those most adroit at using the apps won the “race.”
They immersed themselves in China-style digital life and successfully completed the tasks on their checklists. But three days earlier, when they had just arrived in Shenzhen, a major tech hub in south China’s Guangdong Province, most of them had never heard of, let alone used, these Chinese apps.
“They” refer to 16 young people from 14 countries, including China, the United States, the United Kingdom, Spain, Brazil, South Africa and Pakistan, who joined in the 2023 Future Close-Up Program for a six-day journey, from June 15 to 20, taking them around Shenzhen and Beijing to gain an in-depth understanding of China’s achievements in developing its digital economy.
Participants, comprised of entrepreneurs, scholars and reporters, first spent two days in Shenzhen and then four days in Beijing, including a one-day closing forum. The program was hosted by China International Communications Group (CICG) and Chinese Internet tech giant Tencent, and coordinated by the CICG Center for Americas.
“Chinese applications and economies are always evolving to offer residents a better, more convenient life,” said Jose Carlos Feliciano Nishikawa, a Peruvian participant and Deputy Director of the Center for China and Asia-Pacific Studies at his home country’s Pacific University.
In 2009, when he first came to China, he created a QQ account, an instant messaging software service and web portal. Later, he used…