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Guizhou the front runner of China's big data industry

Xinhua | Updated: 2018-05-30 10:48
Photo taken on May 26, 2018 shows the big data logo outside the venue of the China International Big Data Industry Expo in Guiyang, capital of Southwest China's Guizhou province. [Photo/Xinhua]

GUIYANG - Guizhou province, one of the least developed regions in China, has become a leading hub for China's big data industry, gathering Tencent and other global tech giants as the country's digital economy prospers.

During the China International Big Data Industry Expo 2018 held in the provincial capital of Guiyang from Saturday to Tuesday, 199 projects were signed, attracting total investment volume of 35.28 billion yuan ($5.5 billion), according to the organizing committee.

As China's first big data pilot zone, the mountainous province is a top choice for big data facilities due to its moderate climate, sufficient power supply and good network infrastructure. It has attracted heavyweight players, including Apple, Qualcomm, Huawei, Tencent, Alibaba and Foxconn, to establish cloud computing and big data centers as well as regional headquarters.

Tencent's Qixing data center in Guizhou started trial operation on Monday. With about 50,000 servers stored inside karst caves tucked away in mountains in Gui'an New District, the center is designed as a green, efficient backup for disaster recovery.

The center, covering an area of about 513,000 square meters, will store the company's most important data in the future, according to Tencent CEO Pony Ma.

E-commerce giant Alibaba announced Monday that Guiyang would become the technical support center and Internet Content Provider filing center for Alibaba Cloud, the company's cloud service.

Alibaba Cloud will also provide cloud storage service for the research data of China's Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope, the world's largest single-dish radio telescope, in Guizhou province.

So far, the number of big data enterprises in Guizhou has grown to 8,548 from less than 1,000 in 2013, with the size of big data industry exceeding 110 billion yuan.

Guizhou's digital economy expanded by 37.2 percent in 2017, the fastest in the country, official data showed. The added value of the digital economy will account for 30 percent of Guizhou's GDP by 2020, according to a provincial government plan.

More efforts have been made to further activate the value of data. The Global Big Data Exchange in Guiyang, the first of its kind in the country, has attracted over 2,000 members since its opening three years ago, with tradable data capacity exceeding 150 petabytes.

Chen Zhaoxiong, vice-minister of Industry and Information Technology, said that Guizhou had set out on an innovative route by developing big data, "which offers the 'Guizhou model' for digital economic growth."

Driven by the big data boom, Guiyang, also known as China's "big data valley," saw its GDP growth rate ranking first among provincial capitals for the fourth consecutive year in 2017, and it is becoming an important destination for tech talent.

Guiyang has enjoyed a net inflow of university graduates from all over the country since 2015. Some 142,000 professionals in the big data industry have moved there .

As an environment-friendly industry, life-changing big data is driving growth and upgrading in both traditional and emerging sectors in Guizhou, with the rapid growth of data services, cloud computing, intelligent manufacturing and e-commerce.

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