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Shanghai data exchange debuts on Thursday to boost 'smart city' plan

Zhu Shenshen
The government-authorized exchange is a key part of Shanghai's blueprint to become "a global digital hub."
Zhu Shenshen

A data exchange will officially debut in Shanghai on Thursday, to improve data usage and management in the city.

The government-authorized data exchange is a key part of Shanghai's blueprint to become "a global digital hub."

Participants include traders, technology providers and lawyers, making data trading reliable and efficient.

The exchange mainly targets enterprise and organizational users.

All data usage and trade will be under strict rules, such as "data to be used but not seen" to protect individual data security and personal privacy, industry regulators said.

The first batch of participants include public utilities, banks, e-commerce firms and law firms.

Banks will now be able to easily access data from public utilities and mobile carriers when deciding on loans to businesses – reducing their risk exposure.

The official data exchange makes data sources "clear and reliable" by regulating the trade, said an executive from JD.com.

It comes as China strengthens data and personal information protection and after the country has released several laws, such as the Personal Information Protection Law, earlier this month.

Data has become "a new production factor, a basic and strategic resource," which will be better shared among different bureaus and various regions," says Zhu Zongyao, chairman of the Shanghai Big Data Center.

"Shanghai is going to take measures to solve challenges like 'isolated data islands' and duplicated investment."

Shanghai's digital hub blueprint covers the three key areas of digital transformation and innovation: the economy, daily life and management.

The data exchange is expected to improve urban management and boost digital transformation, city officials said.

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