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Big data lab to boost digital economy
By Ouyang Shijia ( China Daily )
Updated: 2017-03-14

China launched its first national engineering laboratory for big data distribution and exchange technologies on Saturday.

The move is seen boosting the country's digital economy and helping build its strengths to compete in the global market.

Yang Shanlin, director of the lab and an academician at the Chinese Academy of Engineering, said the lab will seek breakthroughs in the research and application of big data.

It will also help the government better regulate the exchange and distribution process.

"We will actively conduct research in the fundamental theories of big data, including data collection, open data and data security. In terms of applying big data to industries, we will build innovation centers and conduct research in key technologies for industries like finance, media, advanced manufacturing, energy, healthcare and education."

He also said the lab will research policy, to help set quality and service standards in big data.

The lab was approved by the National Development and Reform Commission, China's top economic planner, in February.

The lab will be led by Shanghai Data Exchange Corp. Other backers include China Internet Network Information Center, China United Network Communications Group Co, Fudan University, the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology, and Inspur Group Co Ltd.

"We will work closely with our partners to promote research into key technologies and applications of big data in different fields," said Tang Qifeng, CEO of Shanghai Data Exchange Corp.

According to Tang, 13 research centers have been set up to conduct related research. The centers would be led by different enterprises, institutions and universities.

Tang said about one-third of the investment came from the NDRC, and the rest was contributed by Shanghai Data Exchange Corp and its partners.

With more than 700 million internet users and over 1.3 billion mobile phone users, China is among the largest data producers on the globe, and is entering a period of rapid development of information and technology industries.

From 2010 to 2015, China has doubled its sales in the information industry, hitting 17.1 trillion yuan ($2.47 trillion), according to a government plan unveiled in January.