Technology Trends

Internet, big data, cloud seeing integration

China is rapidly embracing digital technologies, which is injecting new impetus into the booming digital economy, experts said.

The country's intensified efforts to speed up new infrastructure construction such as cloud computing have shown its resolve to pursue high-quality and innovation-driven development over the long run, they said.

In a speech delivered at a group study session of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee in October, Xi Jinping, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, highlighted the importance for China of promoting the sound development of the digital economy.

Xi said the digital economy has become a key force in restructuring the global economy and transforming the global competitive landscape. The internet, big data, cloud computing and other technologies are being increasingly integrated into all sectors of economic and social development.

Owen Chen, research director of Gartner CIO Research, a technology research and marketing company, spoke highly of China's intensified efforts to speed up the construction of new infrastructure, saying the coronavirus pandemic has accelerated digital transformation.

Chinese enterprises are embracing new ways of doing business fueled by digital technologies, which will help build competitiveness in the market, improve efficiency and reduce costs, Chen said.

Despite the disruption of COVID-19, China has made considerable progress in terms of accelerating digital transformation as it builds new infrastructure, which includes new digital assets, technologies, related physical facilities and the enabling of installations like cloud computing and big data centers.

China's cloud infrastructure market jumped 54 percent year-on-year to $6.6 billion in the second quarter. Particularly, Tencent Cloud surged 92 percent during the same period, according to a new report from Canalys, a global technology market analysis company.

Canalys said in the report that local demand remains high as digital transformation, AI and smart industries all remain on corporate and government agendas.

Tencent Cloud accounted for nearly 19 percent of total cloud infrastructure spending in China, remaining third behind Alibaba Cloud and Huawei Cloud and ahead of Baidu Cloud, according to the report.

It said the four leading cloud service providers have continued to grow strong this year, collectively increasing 56 percent to account for 80 percent of total cloud spending.

China's overall cloud computing market jumped 56.6 percent to 209.1 billion yuan ($33 billion) in 2020, according to the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology.

Li Wei, deputy director of the academy's Cloud Computing and Big Data Research Institute, said the pandemic has sped up the development of cloud services as well as cloud computing applications.

Over half of surveyed enterprises had strong demand for connecting local data centers with cloud resource pools, Li said, adding that cloud computing has played a key role in spurring the digital economy.

Lily Ma, China unit head of Nutanix, a company that operates multi-cloud architecture, said the company has seen business opportunities in the growing demand for digital transformation and new infrastructure construction in the country.

Ma said the key to the economic and business stimulus, resilience and continuity lies in cloud technology, as cloud and hyperconverged infrastructure have had a critical role in combating the pandemic and keeping the economy running. Hyperconverged infrastructure combines all data center components into a single platform.

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