Asian countries: the digital economy and new technologies
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Asian countries: the digital economy and new technologies
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Nina Tsvetkova 
Affiliation: Institute of Oriental Studies, RAS, Institute of Asian and African Countries, Moscow Lomonosov University
Address: Russian Federation, Moscow

The article shows a rapid spread of mobile phones subscriptions in Asian countries in 2005–2016, even in countries with low per capita income. The share of Internet users in the total population is less significant but their number in China and India is quite impressive. The author analyzes development of digital economy and shows different views on assessing and measuring digital economy, in particular, the approach of UNCTAD. The UNCTAD experts in Information Economy Report 2017 described a “core sector” of the digital economy comprising ICT goods and ICT services production, including software and telecommunication services. Asian countries, with China’s leadership, occupy leading positions in this “core sector”. The approach proposed by the experts of the International Monetary Fund gives limited estimates of the share of the digital economy in Gross Domestic Product. Some services and products are not taken into consideration. Internet users often have access to digital products and services such as search engines free of charge. These services and products are not included in GDP  calculations but do contribute to Net Economic Welfare increase and generate a substantial consumer surplus. Despite different approaches to measuring digital economy, most experts do agree that there is a considerable growth of digital economy in Asian countries, in particular in China. China has become a world leader in digital economy, e-commerce, and electronic payments. China was in 2016 one of the top three leaders in venture investments in new technologies, such as Fintech, artificial intelligence and machine learning, robotics and drones, driverless cars, 3-D print.

Asian countries, digital economy, venture investments in new technologies, GDP, Net Economic Welfare, consumer surplus, e-commerce, electronic payments
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