Technology offers lucrative returns

By Wang Ying in Shanghai | China Daily USA | Updated: 2017-05-02 07:24

China aims to speed up research and application of big data technology by bolstering a national engineering laboratory, whose preliminary goals include realizing open access to government data, government-enterprise data fusion and data trade among enterprises.

"We have cooperated with 15 domestic institutions and universities since the establishment of the lab, and in its first year, we will try to boost our research capability by joining hands with 20 universities and around 30 enterprises globally," said Tang Qifeng, CEO of Shanghai Data Exchange Corp, who is also a council member of the newly launched National Engineering Laboratory for Big Data Distribution and Exchange Technologies.

Approved by the National Development and Reform Commission in February, the national engineering lab was launched by Shanghai Data Exchange Corp in March, and its 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.

According to Tang, its research will be specially designed in accordance with each institution's strengths. For example, the cooperation with Harbin Institute of Technology will focus on data quality, and Xi'an Jiaotong University will share its expertise in talent cultivation.

Tang said the lab would only seek cooperation with leading research institutions. "The five international institutions we look to cooperate will be picked from among universities in the US, the EU and Asia," he said.

Yang Shanlin, director of the lab and an academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, said data is a new factor of production and a strategic resource, and at the same time, it is a special commodity that may concern State security, commercial secrets and personal privacy.

Technology offers lucrative returns

The tasks of the lab will be focused on establishing distribution rules, leading the industry development, making technology breakthroughs, and serving state strategies.

"The application of big data will bring about huge economic returns. According to our calculation, if all the data in 2016 are completely used, that would create about 10 trillion yuan ($1.45 trillion) revenue economically, which is equivalent to 10 percent of China's GDP," said Tang.

According to a recent report on big data development by the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology, China's big data has generated 16.8 billion yuan revenue in 2016, and it is expected to grow 30 percent annually until 2020.

(China Daily USA 05/02/2017 page16)

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