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China targets $900B in technology consumption by 2020

(Bloomberg) -- China said it will encourage more consumption of information technology-related products and services to help promote innovation and support economic growth.

The government plans to expand the scale of IT consumption by 11 percent a year to 6 trillion yuan ($900 billion) by 2020, the State Council said in a statement Thursday. That objective includes everything from digital products such as drones and wearable devices to services such as online medical consulting, entertainment and travel booking.

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An employee wears a virtual reality (VR) headset while demonstrating a 4D cinema that can accommodate 23 people at the SoReal virtual reality park in Beijing, China, on Friday, March 3, 2017. Sky Limit Entertainment Group's SoReal, a startup co-founded by Zhang Yimou, the famed director of "House of Flying Daggers" and The Great Wall, is preparing to open this year what the company bills to be the world's first virtual-reality park. Photographer: Gilles Sabrie/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Policy makers have encouraged consumption and services as key pillars of growth in order to reduce dependence on old smokestack sectors. The State Council, China’s cabinet, said last month that it aims to make the artificial intelligence industry a "new, important" driver of economic growth by 2020.

IT is one of the most innovative and fastest-growing sectors of the economy, and it plays a key role in underpinning demand, promoting employment and industrial upgrading, the State Council said in the statement. Domestic demand needs to be further boosted, it said.