China plans major hike in big data investment
China's investment in big data centers is expected to grow by more than 20 percent annually during the 14th Five-Year Plan period (2021-25), and the cumulative investment in related fields is set to exceed 3 trillion yuan ($471 billion), the country's top economic regulator said on Friday.
Sun Wei, deputy director of the Department of Innovation and High-Tech Development at the National Development and Reform Commission, said the big data centers play a key role in supporting the operation of the digital economy.
"(The development of big data centers) will drive the investment in upstream and downstream industries such as the research, development and manufacturing of information technologies (and related products), telecom networks and energy," Sun told a news conference in Beijing. "That also will drive the digital transformation and upgrading of the economy and society, promote the smooth flow and application of data and further boost the growth of China's digital economy."
The country has recently approved the building of eight national computing hubs and plans for 10 national data center clusters as a way to improve overall computing power and resource efficiency, according to the NDRC.
The eight national computing hubs will be built in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei and Yangtze River Delta regions, the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, the Chengdu-Chongqing economic circle, the Inner Mongolia and Ningxia Hui autonomous regions, and Guizhou and Gansu provinces, according to the NDRC.
The NDRC data showed that 25 new projects have been launched in the 10 national data center clusters this year, driving a total investment of over 190 billion yuan. Among the total investment, the investment in western regions has grown by 6 times over last year.
In the next step, the NDRC said it will ramp up efforts to effectively spur the investment in upstream and downstream industries and promote the large-scale and green development of big data centers.