China’s Minister of Information Industry (MII), Wu Jichuan, Tuesday opened the 1999 China Internet Conference and Exhibition.
The China Daily reports that, at the opening, Wu declared that the Internet was a global phenomenon and an important information infrastructure for the next century.
Moreover, he indicated that China would begin to liberalize its IT industry and open doors to foreign investment.
At the Beijing Internet show, over 40 international and local firms exhibited their products and services including big names like Hewlett-Packard, AT&T, Intel, IBM, Nokia, and Ericsson.
Sources say that Wu’s recent public appearances were part of an attempt to show that the official was still in charge of China’s drive to build up its IT infrastructure.
In recent weeks, there were rumors in the industry that Wu was planning to resign over the breakup of China Telecom’s monopoly.
Recently, the MII chief also attented an event in Beijing to celebrate the 31st World Telecommunications Day where he called for China to develop e-commerce and Internet transaction capabilities, according to another China Daily report.