Luohan Academy

Event Recap

The Two Sides of The Digital Economy

Speakers : Wensheng Peng


Wensheng Peng (China International Capital Corporation Limited)

Dr. Wensheng Peng is the Chief Economist and Head of Research for China International Corporation Limited (CICC). His research interests include Chinese Economy and Macro Finance. Before joining CICC, he was the Vice President of the Research Institute at China Everbright Group and the Global Chief Economist at Everbright Securities. He was also the Global Chief Economist at CITIC securities. Before that, Dr. Peng was the Chief China Economist at Barclays Capital and the Head of Economic Research and Mainland China Affairs at the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA). Also, he worked as an economist at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Washington DC.

Full recap: 

On the 20th May, 2021, Dr. Wensheng Peng, the chief economist and the head of research department of the China International Capital Corporation (CICC), joined us in a Luohan Academy Webinar session under the topic of "The Two Sides of the Digital Economy". Dr. Peng views data generated throughout the process of digitalization acting as a new type of production factor and a booster to China’s economy, while the downside of digital economy interweaves with issues such as anti-trust and the ownership of data.
The main driver of the digital economy, argued by Dr. Peng, is data, which distinguishes it from the traditional economy since the former one is often non-rivalry and economically scalable. The success of the digital economy in China is highly relevant to the booming of its strong application layer – the platform economy. A number of socio-economic challenges of contemporary Chinese society, such as aging population and disparity in regional development, can be mitigated with the new forms of platform economy. Peng argues that platform economy on the supply side, can not only bolster labour productivity, but also replace the traditional labour and industrial migration with data and digital industry migration, which sometimes benefit the underdeveloped region such as Guizhou province in Western China. 

Dr. Peng’s topics encompass a number of core research areas of the Academy and his sharing attracted heated discussion from participants. Professor Long Chen stressed that at the core of platform economy is a form of open economy with reduced friction costs. It also acts as a coordinator of service providers across the country so that even people from the remote rural areas would be able to provide services or products to customers from the other side of the country.  Dr. Yadong Huang of the Academy also pointed out that besides mobile payment, platforms in financial systems also engendered a broader range of innovations, especially in insurance and micro-loan sectors, which has taken place not only in China, but also in many developing countries. 

Further readings

Luohan Academy, 2020, Digital Technology and Inclusive Growth (This book can also be found on Amazon)

Luohan Academy, 2021, Understanding Big Data: Data Calculus in The Digital Era

If you would like to give a presentation in a future webinar, please contact our Economist Dr. Xijie Gao ( ​

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