Four national computer hubs intend to drive growth

A worker controls the smart shuttle platform in Shanghai on December 20, 2021. [Photo/IC]

Facilities will strengthen digital capability, back high-quality development

China has approved plans to build four national integrated computer centers as part of its ongoing efforts to increase the nation’s computing capacity and accelerate the construction of new infrastructure, the country’s top economic regulator said on Wednesday.

Industry experts say the plan released by the National Development and Reform Commission and three other central departments is in line with the national strategy to promote green, high-quality development of the digital economy and inject new impetus to economic growth.

The hubs will be built in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, the Yangtze River Delta region, the Chengdu-Chongqing city cluster and the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Gulf region, the NDRC said in four separate statements.

Under the plan, each hub will make full use of its market, technology, talent and capital advantages, develop high-efficiency, low-carbon data center clusters, improve the quality of data supply, and realize the coordinated and sustainable development of large-scale computing power deployment with land, energy, water, electricity and other resources, the NDRC said.

With the rise of next-generation information technologies such as 5G, artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things and industrial Internet, data has become a national basic resource and a major factor in production, said Xiang Ligang, director general of the Consumer Information Alliance, a telecommunications industry association.

“The establishment of national integrated computing hubs will improve efficiency in the use of computing resources, accelerate the free flow of data and promote the high-quality development of the digital economy,” Xiang said, adding that most of these computer network hubs are located. en. the eastern coastal regions, which have a greater demand for advanced computing power along with huge data usage.

Xiang noted that the investment in setting up data center clusters is huge. Chinese technology companies need to use innovative technologies to improve the operational efficiency of data centers and reduce power consumption, he said.

After years of development, China has taken over the world in the big data sector. The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology unveiled a plan for the development of the big data sector during the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25), forecasting a scale exceeding 3 trillion yuan ($ 473.7 billion) by the end of 2025, with compound. annual growth rate of about 25 percent.

MIIT data showed that China’s big data sector has grown rapidly over the past five years, with the scale exceeding 1 trillion yuan by 2020.

Zhou Minliang, a senior researcher at the Institute of Industrial Economics of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said the construction of national integrated computer hubs will provide strong support for the growth of advanced manufacturing, accelerate technological innovation and strengthen the country’s core competitiveness. .

Zhou said renewable energy is abundant and climatic and geological conditions are favorable in Chengdu and Chongqing, two of the largest metropolitan economies in Southwest China.

Zhou said the nation is looking to exploit the value of massive data resources more efficiently, adding that these hubs are capital and technology-intensive, and need a large number of technical professionals. Further efforts need to be made to strengthen network delivery between these national hubs, he said.

Data centers need to increase computing efficiency, save computing power consumption and truly meet the needs of future intelligent computing, said Wang Endong, an academician at the Chinese Academy of Engineering and chief scientist at Inspur Group, a Chinese provider of big data services.

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