China launches first big data pilot zone

Updated: 2015-09-18 19:48


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China launched its first big data pilot zone in the southwestern province of Guizhou Friday.

It is the latest move since China's State Council issued guidelines to boost big data development earlier this month.

The action framework for promoting big data, ratified by Premier Li Keqiang, aims to nurture a group of 500 companies in the industry, including 10 leading global enterprises focused on big data application, services and manufacturing.

It said a platform for sharing data between government departments should be established by the end of 2017 and a unified platform for government data should be established before the end of 2018.

The big data pilot zone will be an experiment in big data sharing, use, innovation and security, said Wang Na, head of the informatization department with the National Development and Reform Commission, at the launch ceremony.

Big data has become a strategic resource and core element for innovation, said Wang Cunfu, an official with the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.

As the world's most populous country and the second largest economy, China is expected to account for 20 percent of the world's data capacity by 2020, creating a massive market for economic transformation, said Wang.

The mountainous Guizhou Province, one of the least developed regions in China, has become a pioneer in China's big data development due to a moderate climate, sufficient power supply and good network infrastructure.

Guizhou's visibility has been rising in China's big data scene as a number of heavyweight mobile network operators, including China Telecom, China Unicom and China Mobile, as well as Internet giants, including Alibaba and Tencent, have moved into the province's Gui'an New District since 2013 to establish cloud computing bases and big data centers.

As a pilot zone, Guizhou will build Guizhou on the Cloud, a platform for provincial government data to be pooled, shared and exchanged. The platform will cover data from city- and county-level governments by the end of next year, said Chen Gang, Party secretary of Guiyang City, the provincial capital.

"Oriental Cloud," an application that collects information on satellite remote sensing, topography and weather through cloud services to forecast precipitation and optimize reservoir operations, is expected to be used by nearly half of China's water conservancy facilities, according to Yu Linmei, an executive of Guizhou East Century Technology Co. Ltd.

"The rapid expansion of our company could not succeed without government support," said Lin.

"Governments are most capable of data integration," said Wang Jiangping, deputy provincial governor, adding that building Guizhou on the Cloud will start with integration of government data and then spread to private data.

The sharing, exchange and use of big data also leads to concerns about protection of intellectual property and privacy, said Wang.

Guizhou was the first provincial-level region in the country to pass a regulation on information infrastructure construction in May 2014. It will explore legislation on big data in the future, said Wang.