Business / Economy

Public information set to become more transparent

By Zhao Shengnan (China Daily) Updated: 2015-06-25 09:42

China is to launch a pilot plan to promote greater openness of public data, including that concerning government affairs.

It will also encourage national innovation platforms to open up to enterprises, especially small and medium-sized ones.

The decision was made on Wednesday at an executive meeting of the State Council, presided over by Premier Li Keqiang. It comes as Beijing renews efforts to promote its "Internet Plus" strategy, which was announced by Li in March and is designed to promote innovation and growth.

The government holds a large amount of data about almost every aspect of public life, including meteorology, housing, medical care and transportation.

Once analyzed, this information may provide a better understanding of potential markets and their benefits.

Han Yishun, an expert on data studies at Tsinghua University, said, "Increased transparency of the data would help to cut bureaucracy by increasing information sharing among government departments."

It would also help the younger generation to innovate and start new businesses based on the opportunities found in the data, Han said.

China regards mass entrepreneurship and innovation as key elements to boost its slowing growth, but is a latecomer to opening up public data compared with countries that include the United Kingdom and Canada.

The government in Guiyang, Guizhou province, recently pledged to open up data-including that concerning the city's population and economy-to the public by the end of next year.

But the number of local governments in China that have made similar efforts remains limited.

The meeting approved a document guiding implementation of the "Internet Plus" strategy and pledged to lower the threshold for related products and services and to support Internet enterprises to become listed.

It decided to speed up information infrastructure construction, the development of core chips and high-end servers, the application of cloud computing and big data, and government purchases of cloud computing services.

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