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Experts: Data integration key to Shanghai's digital future

By Cao Chen in Shanghai | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2021-01-05 16:53
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A staff member looks at a robot at the venue of the World Artificial Intelligence Conference in Shanghai. [Photo/Agencies]

Experts said on Tuesday Shanghai should strengthen data integration both locally and internationally and regard data as valuable resource in the city's goal of comprehensive digital transformation.

The goal was stated in a government document on Monday, when the city announced it will seek to achieve a comprehensive digital transformation in economy, life, and governance, build a data-driven city framework, and lead the community to build a shared digital city.

According to the document, the city aims to achieve significant results in this area by 2025.

Hui Zhibin, director of the Internet research center of the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, said that the city will take advantage of its digital information infrastructure and the many application scenarios in its service and manufacturing industries to accomplish this digital transformation.

Digital companies in the city, including AI start-ups, will also play a significant role in this journey, he added.

Hui pointed out that network and data security, and data management are critical challenges the city will need to deal with as this transformation takes shape. As such, more standards and laws regarding data will be required to help citizens, companies, and governments make good use of data in the city.

In the meantime, data accessibility for expatriates and disadvantaged groups such as the elderly should be enhanced, he added.

Ling Hong, professor of the management school at Fudan University in Shanghai, said that the city should integrate local data resources, seek to gather more data, and establish data centers.

Shi Jianxun, director of the institute of finance and economics of Tongji University, noted that digital technologies, including 5G, big data, and cloud computing, should be applied in traditional manufacturing industry reform, service industry optimization, and the development of new economy and business formats.

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