Mega data project in China’s less developed inland provinces bolsters digital infrastructure in the country
Chinese article by 爱集微
English Editor WM Zhang
06-01 22:47

As China rides the digitalization wave and seeks to tap into the full potential of the big data industry, a megaproject addressing the soaring demand for computing power is taking shape, Xinhua News reported.

In February, China started work on the project to build an integrated national big data system involving the establishment of eight national computing hubs and 10 national data center clusters.

Dubbed "East data, west computing," the project is a key part of China's digital infrastructure. It aims to coordinate the computing capabilities of the country's eastern regions, where the need for computing is high, with inland western regions, where abundant renewable resources are optimal for the construction of data centers, reported Xinhua.

The project is designed to have less developed inland regions store and process data transmitted from economically advanced eastern areas.

In the next step, China will build and deploy modern infrastructure with a forward-thinking mindset, and accelerate the digital transformation of traditional infrastructure, Lin said.

Industry insiders have high hopes that the project will boost economic growth. By building computing hubs and data centers, the project is expected to boost investment in the upstream and downstream industrial chains.

Statistics show that since the beginning of this year, 25 new projects have been launched in 10 national data center clusters in China, with combined computing power equivalent to approximately 27 million personal computers.

These new projects have attracted a total investment of over RMB190 billion (about $28.2 billion). Investment in China's western regions increased sixfold from the same period last year.

As one of the designated computing hubs, Guizhou has decided to upgrade its digital infrastructure and plans to spend about RMB17 billion($2.55 billion) on the big data industry this year.

Guizhou will construct a "data corridor" that will link it with the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and the Chengdu-Chongqing economic circle to better meet the computing needs of the two areas, said Jiao Delu, chief engineer of the Guizhou provincial big data development administration.

China Unicom plans to invest nearly RMB1.5 billion in the expansion of its data center in Guiyang, adding nearly 7,000 more server racks to its current total of 3,000.

Since Guizhou was approved to build the country's first national big data comprehensive pilot zone in 2016, the province has become the frontrunner in the country's big data industry. After years of development, many data centers there have started to enjoy commercial success.

The Gui'an Supercomputing Center began operations in late 2020. With 537 servers and 1,000 high-performance graphics processors, the center boasts a combined computing power of 13.4 quadrillion floating-point operations per second, ranking third among data centers in the west of China, Xinhua News learned.

Peng Benqian, an executive at the center's operating company, said that the center has been promoting the commercial use of computing power and storage resources while meeting the needs of national scientific research.

In January 2021, Shenzhen Rayvision Technology Co., Ltd., a company that specializes in providing vertical cloud computing services for the visual arts industry, became the first customer to purchase computing power from the center.

Subsequently, the center provided computer power services for the post-rendering work of many films and television shows.

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