The Report on the Development of Digital Villages in China (2022) (“Report”) was officially released recently. The Information Center of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs (MARA) took the lead in compiling it under the joint guidance of the Informatization Development Bureau of the Office of the Central Cyberspace Affairs Commission and the Department of Market and Informatization of MARA.
The Report has given a full review of the progress and achievements in eight areas while developing digital villages since 2021, including rural digital infrastructure, smart agriculture, new types of agribusiness, rural digital governance, rural cyberculture, digitalized public services, smart green villages and the digital village development environment. It has also evaluated the development level of digital villages in various regions for the first time, aiming to provide references for promoters, practitioners and researchers of digital village development.
Generally speaking, the construction of digital infrastructure in rural areas has accelerated in recent years. By the end of 2022, all urban areas at county level had 5G coverage, and every village enjoyed broadband access. New types of agribusiness continue to emerge and rural e-commerce maintains its leading position in the rural digital economy. National rural online retail sales reached RMB 2.17 trillion in 2022.
According to the results of the evaluation on the development level of digital villages in 2022: 1) smart agriculture had a rapid development, as the informatization rate of agricultural production increased to 25.4%; 2) the rural digital governance efficiency continued to improve, as 68.2% of the six types of agriculture-related government service items were handled online nationwide; 3) digitalized public services were steadily promoted, as the number of village-level service offices that utilize digital technology increased to 483,000 and 86.0% of administrative villages already had access to digitalized public services.