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by Xinhua writers Cheng Lu and Wang Jian

BEIJING, March 18 (Xinhua) -- It's not just phones, it seems that everything wants to be "smart"; shoes, clothes, cars, even manhole covers.

China's Li-Ning, a sportswear brand, announced on Sina Weibo Monday that it has teamed up with smartphone maker Xiaomi to manufacture "smart" running shoes.

The smart shoes allow runners to log their exercise, analyze their technique and obtain professional guidance.

It is just the latest of many moves by Chinese manufacturing enterprises to ride the digital wave.

Last Thursday, China's leading carmaker, SAIC Motor and Alibaba Group declared that they were teaming up to develop an Internet-enabled car featuring
Alibaba's Yun operating system, Xiami music, AutoNavi navigation technology and
Aliyun cloud computing.

China has almost 650 million Internet users and over 500 million use their phone to get online. The Internet has created opportunities in all sectors of
economy - good news for a country under considerable downward pressure.

A McKinsey Global Institute report last year hypothesized that, in China, the Internet could fuel up to 22 percent of GDP growth until 2025.

China's rise over the past two decades relied on enormous capital investment and a huge, cheap labor force, but that can't last forever. The Internet growth
model is driven by innovation and quality production.

On March 5, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said China will not only implement the "Made in China 2025" strategy, but develop an "Internet Plus" plan based on
innovation, smart technology, the mobile Internet, cloud computing, big data,
and the Internet of Things. Manufacturing processes will shift from those of
quantity to those of quality.

Fan Youbin, president of Everstar, knows how Web technology can change the lives of enterprises as well as consumers. Three years ago, Everstar, a clothing
manufacturer based in south China's Guangdong Province, watched grimly on as
clothes exports slowed.

The company has since been transformed from a traditional manufacturer into a modern enterprise that allows customers to design their own clothes and try on
them in a virtual fitting room at its online store.

"Everything is done online. Customers can receive their clothes within three days of placing an order," he said.

Wang Wenjing, head of an Internet service provider for enterprises, believes the digital economy means better product development, supply-chain management,
sales, marketing and customer interactions, but the process is likely to put
some workers out of a job and needs government support on cyber security.

Meanwhile, in the east China city of Hangzhou on Monday the first batch of "smart manhole covers", featuring anti-theft devices, shock absorption and noise
reduction, went on the roads. The manhole cover's "smarts" come from an
electronic tag which sends an alarm signal if it is tampered with

It is indeed, just as Wu Hequan of the Chinese Academy of Engineering predicts: The digital economy will not just impact on manufacturing but on all
sectors and ultimately help China reach the goal of sustainable growth.

TORONTO, March 30 (Xinhua) -- Canada's main stock market moved higher Monday over a solid rally in the health shares boosted by an acquisition deal.

Toronto Stock Exchange's benchmark S&PTSX Composite Index was up 95.97 points, or 0.65 percent, to 14,908.39 points.

Healthcare led the increase by 7.08 percent when the pharmacy benefit company Catamaran Corp. shot up 24.72 percent, or 15.04, to 75.88 Canadian dollars
(about 59.78 U.S. dollars) per share after it received a 12.8-billion U.S.
dollars takeover offer from UnitedHealth Group Inc., a diversified health care
company in the United States.

Metals and Mining logged another solid gain by 4.02 percent, as Teck Resources Ltd. surged 11.33 percent to 19.45 Canadian dollars after reports
emerged that it was in merger discussions with Chilean copper miner Antofagasta
to create one of the world's largest copper producers. But the Vancouver-based
copper giant denied the report after the closing bell.

And another basic metals company First Quantum Minerals Ltd. soared 3.04 percent to 15.25 Canadian dollars.

Energy sector gained 0.66 percent despite declines in oil prices. Cenovus Energy Inc. advanced 4.06 percent to 21.52 Canadian dollars while Suncor Energy
Inc. added 0.66 percent to 36. 87 Canadian dollars.

Financials, the most weighed sector, rallied 0.14 percent. Toronto-Dominion Bank increased 0.23 percent to 53.30 Canadian dollars.

Losers included Info Tech, down 0.38 percent, when BlackBerry Ltd. slumped 6.29 percent to 11.17 Canadian dollars.

And Utilities gave back 0.26 percent as Emera Incorporated fell 0.70 percent to 40.85 Canadian dollars and Canadian Utilities Ltd. slipped 0.37 percent to
38.86 Canadian dollars.

On the economic front, Statistics Canada reported on Monday that the Industrial Product Price Index increased 1.8 percent in February, largely as a
result of higher prices for energy and petroleum products.

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Posted 24 Jan 2019

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