The second World Internet Conference opened on Wednesday in Wuzhen, Zhejiang province. [Special coverage]
More than 2000 delegates from over 120 nations attended the conference. Eight state leaders, including Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister of Pakistan Nawaz Sharif, about 50 ministerial-level officials, leaders of over 20 important international organizations, more than 600 Internet company executives and expertsgraced the occasion. Popular topics, such as online cultural communication, Internet innovation and development, digital economic cooperation, cyber security and cyberspace governance were discussed in ten forums and 22 sessions. The small town is in the spotlight again.
Maybe it is a kind of symbolic meaning: the globalization of mankind started from the beginning of the 20th century, while "global village" had not emerged untilthe dawn of the Internet; the process of "history becoming world history" started several centuries ago, but the Internet brings the influence deeper into the most trivial details of daily life. A grand conference about the Internet and its future development is one of the profound transformations made possible by the Internet.
When four computers were linked into the infant network ARPAnet in the 1960s in America, people could not imagine that the network built for the Cold War would break down hedges between nations and countries step by step. When China sent its first email "Across the Great Wall we can reach every corner in the world" on September 14, 1987, people here may already had made a resolve: A few decades later, Chinese people could not only go across the Great Wall, they also could bring the "world" into the Great Wall. After half a century, the Internet is now helping people to establish a community of shared future with unprecedented speed and power.
The community is in the first place economic. The Internet provides a carrier for the global flows of information, idea, technology, capital, talents, provides new opportunities or breaking points for traditional industries, injects new energy and variables for economic growth in different countries and regions. With the integration of mobile Internet, cloud computing, big data, the Internet of Things and modern manufacturing, e-commerce, Internet consumption, O2O services and Internet finance have totally changed our ways of life. Alibaba raked in 122.9 billion yuan in sales in just 24 hours on November 11, creating the world's biggest single-day sales promotion. This kind of group effect and rapid flow of ideas and thoughts could give rise to common standards for modern societies and corresponding consensuses on development and senses of community.
The community is at the same time cultural. Cultural exchanges between countries and nations in the past few centuries cannot compare with the decades since the Internet was found in terms of frequency; the consensuses on mutual learning formed in the past more than one hundred years have never been popularized so fast with the help of the Internet. The "dialogue" between Confucius and Jesus, the hundred schools of thoughts and the "Three Saints" of the West can not only be made possible through theoretical debate, theoretical communication or academic conferences, but also by cross-border social networks and mass cultural products, such as films and TV programs based on Internet technologies. With these microcosmic but frequent communications, people will realize that to maintain and protect core cultural values of humanity, we should see cultural diversity from the perspective of community.
During the last half century, the Internet not only changed man's way of life and way of understanding, but also redefined the meaning of time and space. It could bring you to anywhere you want; its fast speed makes one second longer. It also reminds us: people could receive the fruits of civilizations more efficiently through closer connections. That's the message the World Internet Conference was meant to convey.