Biz / Tech

Guizhou drives China's big data development, digital economy

Guizhou Province has become the frontrunner of China's big-data industry since it was given approval to build the country's first national big-data comprehensive pilot zone.

Southwestern Guizhou Province has become the frontrunner of China's big-data industry since it was given approval to build the country's first national big-data comprehensive pilot zone in 2016.

It is now one of the regions with the highest number of mega-data centers in the country and even in the world. Several heavyweight players, such as Apple and Huawei, have set up their cloud computing and big-data centers and regional headquarters in the province.

Its rich big-data resources are injecting growth momentum into the digital economy. Between 2016 and 2020, Guizhou's digital economic growth rate ranked first in China for five consecutive years. In 2021, the added value of its digital economy is expected to exceed 600 billion yuan (US$91.7 billion).

As the country's pioneer in implementing the national big-data strategy, Guizhou will pool efforts, such as strengthening the data center clustering effect, promoting the integration of big data with the real economy, and improving the industrial development environment, to boost the development of the big-data industry.

China's Huawei is accelerating the construction of its industrial park, including a data center and a university, in Gui'an New Area, a national-level new urban area in Guizhou.

After completion in August, the data center can install about 800,000 servers to store Huawei's global management data and provide cloud services for users from 170 countries and regions.

One street away, Apple's first Chinese data center, with an investment of US$1 billion, commenced operation last Tuesday. It will likely further improve Chinese users' experience in terms of access speed and service reliability, as well as improve the overall reliability of Apple's products and services on the Chinese mainland.

As a core part of the National Big Data (Guizhou) Comprehensive Pilot Zone, Guiyang and Gui'an New Area as a whole has witnessed rapid growth in big-data businesses over the last few years due to its advantages in climate, power supply, and network infrastructure.

In 2020, it was home to more than 5,000 big-data firms and 23 data centers in operation or under construction. The added value of its digital economy hit 164.9 billion yuan the same year.

With the landing of more data centers, Guiyang will form a data center industry with an investment exceeding the 100-billion-yuan level in the next five years. It will cultivate an electronic information manufacturing industry and a software and information technology service-industry cluster each at a 100-billion-yuan level.

"Guizhou is expected to become one of the largest data centers in the world in a few years," said Vladimir Norov, Secretary-General of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, during the China International Big Data Industry Expo 2021, which concluded on Friday in Guiyang, the Guizhou provincial capital.

In the past few years, Guizhou has strived to promote the in-depth integration of big data with the real economy. So far, over 6,000 enterprises have carried out intelligent upgrading of manufacturing. Over 20,000 enterprises have used cloud and big-data services in their production.

"About 80 percent of Guizhou's enterprises are from the traditional industries. The integration of big data with their production activities is making the traditional industries more digital and intelligent," said Jiao Delu, director of the office of the Guizhou provincial big-data development administration.

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