Digital China Wins the Future

Illuminating "Digital China" with original Chinese-language sources


This timeline includes a selected list of key events in the top level design of Digital China. Additional timelines looking at other levels, elements, and supporting components of the Digital China strategy may be added in the future based on level of interest. Questions, comments, additions, and corrections are welcome! Please contact me at

Time 时间
Issuer 发布部门
Policy 政策 & Translation 翻译Main Content 主要内容
Xinhua reports Central Committee & State Council issue Plan for the Reform of Party and State Institutions (党和国家机构改革方案), including creation of new National Data Bureau, reassignment of NDRC and CCAC functions over Digital China construction.

Premier Li Keqiang submits Plan for the Reform of State Council Institutions (国务院机构改革方案) to 14th National People’s Congress, including creation of new National Data Bureau.
Plan creates National Data Bureau 国家数据局: aka (National Data Administration)

Plan reassigns Digital China construction functions from National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) and Office of the Central Cyberspace Affairs Commission (CCAC) to new National Data Bureau.

Section 14 (Establish a National Data Bureau) in the “Party and State Institutional Reform Plan” adds a sentence (Establish provincial-level government data management institutions 省级政府数据管理机 as required 结合实际) that was not in Section 8 (Establish a National Data Bureau) of the earlier “State Council Institutional Reform Plan.”

党和国家机构改革方案 aka (Plan on Reforming Party and State Institutions)
Establish National Data Bureau (NDB) managed by NDRC.

NDB coordinates/promotes data infrastructure 数据基础制度 construction; overall planning of integration/sharing/development/use of data resources 数据资源; overall planning/promotion of Digital China/Digital Economy/Digital Society construction.

Digital China functions formerly assigned to NDRC and CCAC reassigned to NDB.

Establish provincial-level government data management institutions as required.
Xinhua reports new Central Committee & State Council “Plan for the Global Layout of Digital China Construction

According to China Daily, the new plan “will serve as an important engine for boosting China’s modernization drive and build up the country’s new competitive edge.” “In addition, efforts will be made to expand international cooperation on the digital domain and actively participate in the formulation of international rules for cross-border data flows.”

数字中国建设整体布局规划: aka (Plan for the Overall Layout of Building a Digital China) | (Overall Layout Plan for the Development of a Digital China)
International component of Digital China is elevated as part of new global layout for Digital China. In short, Digital China domestic (emphasis prior to the guideline) + Digital China international (emphasis added by the guideline) = Digital China global (new emphasis on both).

First external Digital China media narrative follows the guideline’s release, focused on the strategy’s international dimension: “We will expand the space for international cooperation in the digital field, [and] actively participate in digital cooperation platforms under multilateral frameworks … [and] build a new platform for open cooperation in the digital field with high quality.”
CAC Publishes 2021 Digital China Development Report
Annual CAC report on Digital China status. Fourteen sections, 62 pages.NTI Highlights: Dual Gigabit [Digital Cities]; New Type Computing Power System [EDWC]; IPv6 [Deployment & Applications]

FSIP Highlights: All Five Spheres

Data Highlights: Security and governance

Other: International cooperation in digital domain
CAC publishes 14th Five-Year Plan for National Informatization
CAC: “14th Five-Year Plan for National Informatization systematically plans the timetable, road map, and mission statement for the construction of Digital China during the 14th Five-Year Plan period.”

More on 14th National Informatization Plan
Plan opens with the statement, “During the 14th Five-Year Plan period, informatization is entering a new phase to Accelerate Digitalized Development and Build Digital China,” which matches the new party term-of-art (tifa) in the 14th Five-Year Plan published earlier the same year.
NPC passes 14th Five-Year Plan for National Economic and Social
Development and Long-Range Objectives for 2035
For the first time, Digital China was the lead topic for an entire section of a five-year plan, a major upgrade from its single reference in the 13th Five-Year Plan, and a significant elevation highlighted by PRC state-run media.

More on Digital China in 14th Five-Year Plan
PRC media described the section’s title, “Accelerate Digitalized Development and Build Digital China,” as a new party term-of-art (tifa) and highlighted that the 14th Five-Year Plan had templated Digital China using the Five-Sphere Integrated Plan.
Central Committee & State Council issue Outline of the National Informatization Development Strategy
“This Strategy Outline is an adjustment and development of the 《2006-2020 National Informatization Development Strategy》based on the new situation (新形势). It is a programmatic document to standardize and guide national informatization development over the next ten years. It is an important part of the national strategy system (国家战略体系)and an important basis for the formulation of plans and policies in the area of informatization.”

A single reference to Digital China in Section 4 (Efforts to Raise the Level of Economic and Social Informatization), Part 1 (Cultivate the Information Economy and Promote Transformation and Development): “The top priorities of informatization work are accelerating the construction of Digital China and vigorously developing the information economy…”
Outline opening: “In today’s world, innovation in information technology changes every day, and an informatized tide characterized by digitization, networkization, and intelligentization is booming. Without informatization, there is no modernization.”

Section 1 (Basic Situation of National Informatized Development), Part 1: “With further developments in world multi-polarization, economic globalization, cultural diversification, and social informatization; and profound change in the global governance system; whoever occupies the high ground of informatization will be able to seize the first opportunity, win the advantage, win security, and win the future.”