On 23 July 2021, the Chinese National Development and Reform Commission, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, Ministry of Technology, Ministry of Industry and Information, Office of Central Cyberspace Administration, State Market Regulation Bureau and National Rural Revitalization Bureau jointly released the “Digital Rural Development Guideline 1.0”.
The document provides a road map for digital village development in China. The Guideline requires various localities to use this document as a reference and intergrate it with real on-site conditions. The Guideline provides comprehensive and authoritative suggestions for both provincial and country levels to promote digital village development as well as selected case studies from various provinces.
The whole document comprises 117 pages including 10 chapters which address different aspects of rural digitalization as follows:
- Overall framework: According to the Guideline, any effort should be integrated with the work and experience of national digital village experimental fields. It offers an overall framework for rural digital village development which includes information infrastructure, public support platforms, digital application scenes, operation management and security system as shown in fig1.
- Information infrastructure: Includes internet infrastructure, information-based infrastructure and upgrade of traditional digital infrastructure.
- Public support platforms: Includes public data platforms which serve for the Three Rural Issues (the so-called sannong – agriculture, rural areas and farmers) and application support platforms for various administration levels.
- Village digital economy: This section includes smart agriculture, village e-commerce, new industrial development in villages, agriculture technology innovation and rural digital finance. In smart agriculture, the Guideline provides instructions for the establishment of an agricultural database, digitalization of agricultural productions, digitalization of processed agri-food products, digital monitoring stations for special products, cloud computing and e-commerce supply chain, early warning and decision support system; In village e-commerce, the document instructs to establish an e-commerce ecosystem which integrates production, logistics and online payment system and suggests to provide training for the villagers; in rural digital finance. The document states the importance of financial services, rural credit services, agricultural insurance to address problems like credit inaccessibility and slowness.
- Digital green village: This section includes guidelines for green agricultural production, green village life and digitalization of information on ecological protection.
- Village internet culture: Provide various cultural products like digital library, art and music to create a positive village culture.
- Village digital governance: This section includes guidelines for digital party governance, “Internet + government services”, online village governance and village emergency management.
- Social benefiting services: This section includes guidelines for “Internet + Education”, “Internet+ health care”, digital elder care and improving digital skills of villagers.
- Design model: Design model should be innovative, integrated, effective and sustainable.
- Process management: Core of the digital village development should be an effort towards achieving rural revitalization, and it should also be science based.