Tencent's new AI center on the fast track

Yang Yang
Chinese tech firm Tencent signed with the Songjiang government to build its YRD artificial intelligence supercomputing center and industrial base in the district. 
Yang Yang
Tencent's new AI center on the fast track
Ti Gong

A rendering of office buildings in the future Yangtze River Delta artificial intelligence supercomputing center of Tencent's

Approvals for constructing Tencent’s Yangtze River Delta artificial intelligence supercomputing center in Songjiang have been sped up thanks to the district’s streamlined approval procedures.

Chinese tech firm Tencent signed with the Songjiang government on March 31 to invest 15 billion yuan (US$2.1 billion) in building its Yangtze River Delta artificial intelligence supercomputing center and industrial base in the district. On May 27 the company successfully bade for the land for construction. On May 30 it received its pile foundation building permit and on June 6 construction work for the center started.

“We were taking the Tesla case as our model. The Shanghai government helped Tesla, the US electric carmaker, to win its land use permit in six months. This time we helped Tencent win its land use permit in 58 days and the construction permit in three days,” said Zhang Lei, an agency official for the Tencent project with Songjiang Economic and Technological Development Zone.

Tencent’s supercomputing center project is the first essential industrial project signed with the district government since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus pandemic in January. The project is expected to finish its first-phase structure binding by the end of this year and be put it into use in July 2021.

“The supercomputing center will be the key infrastructure of the ‘digital Shanghai’ in the future. It will function like a digital highway to ensure smooth transfer of all kinds of data,” said a technician with the center.

The center, when completed, will fulfil tasks including AI computing, machine learning, graphic processing, scientific computing and engineering computing, and will offer cloud computing services for everyone in the Yangtze River Delta region with its powerful data processing and storage capabilities.

“The center, together with other digital infrastructure such as block chain, industrial Internet and the Internet of things, will pave the way for Songjiang’s future digital society, economy and industry development,” said the technician.

“When completed, the center is expected to reap a yearly revenue of 2 billion yuan and generate tax revenue of about 300 million a year,” said Xiao Yang, vice president of Songjiang District Science and Technology Association.

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