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China turns ancient caves into big data treasury

Xinhua | Updated: 2023-06-03 17:05
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This aerial panorama photo taken on Feb 13, 2023 shows China's Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope (FAST) under maintenance in Southwest China's Guizhou province. [Photo/Xinhua]

GUIYANG -- More than 40,000 years ago, ancient Chinese ancestors made fires and took shelter in dark caves; in today's digital era, such caves are turned into safe and secure data storage centers in the city of Guiyang, also known as China's Big Data Valley, in the country's southwestern mountainous Guizhou province.

As the country's first national big data comprehensive pilot zone, Guizhou now boasts 37 data centers in operation or under construction, working for enterprises including Apple, Huawei, and Tencent, as well as scientific research projects like the Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope (FAST), or the "China Sky Eye."

The province has promoted the big data industry as its backbone, with 37 percent of its GDP coming from the digital economy in 2022. Its digital economy is taking the lead nationwide, maintaining the country's highest growth rate for seven consecutive years.

Last year, Guizhou, endowed with numerous caves created by its signature vast karst landscapes, became a key node for China's grand project of channeling more computing resources from eastern regions to its less developed yet resource-rich western regions.

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