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|November 17, 1998||
China is ill prepared for the millennium bugChina, with ten million computer users, is unprepared for the date 2000 bug, the country's information minister told a World Bank meeting in Beijing today.
More money, technology and personnel are needed to combat the problem while too many government departments and enterprises ''still lack the urgency'' to act, said Minister Wu Jichuan at the start of a two-day seminar.
The 'millennium bug' threatens to cause havoc in computers worldwide by misunderstanding the last two digits of 2000 as those of 1900 with potentially disastrous consequences for enterprises ranging from banks to airlines.
Zhang Qi, head of a government working group on the problem, said action needs to be taken urgently. ''Essentially, it is a social problem, one that, if not tackled properly, will affect our country's future competitiveness in the world,'' Zhang said.
''It is a job that must be done in a short period and a job that must be done well. Otherwise, the daily lives of the people and social stability would be put at stake and our smooth march into the 21st Century would be jeopardised.''
China is among the world's top ten buyers of computers and communication equipment with the number of computer users currently doubling every year.
- Compiled from the Indian media
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