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Guizhou sees sunny future in the cloud

By Gao Yuan ( China Daily )

Updated: 2014-02-24

Southwest China's Guizhou province is pinning its economic hopes on big data and cloud computing, local officials said on Thursday.

They hope to build Guiyang, the capital, into China's answer to India's high-tech hub of Bangalore.

"Guizhou is one of the least-developed regions in China, but it meets all the conditions to become the largest big data and cloud computing base in the country," said Chen Gang, Party secretary of Guiyang.

Guizhou is one of the lowest ranked provincial administrations in terms of gross domestic product and GDP per capita.

But a temperate climate, sufficient power supply and well-developed transport networks will help the city lure data center and cloud computing projects, said Chen.

"Guiyang edges out other Chinese cities when attracting IT projects because of these advantages. That's a opportunity for us to boost high-tech industries," Chen added.

The nation's Big Three telecom carriers are building cloud computing facilities in Guiyang, with cumulative investment thus far exceeding 15 billion yuan ($2.5 billion).

Industry insiders said cloud computing could be an efficient economic driver for Guiyang and other inland regions.

The turnover of data analytics-related businesses in Guiyang is projected to hit 54 billion yuan by 2016, local data said. That would be equivalent to one-third of the total output of the city's information technology industry.

About 200 big data companies are expected to be operating in the city by then, with more than 5,000 staff, it said.

Late last year, Guiyang teamed up with Zhongguancun, the biggest tech park in China, in a bid to boost the city's IT industry. So far, it's attracted at least 43.7 billion yuan in investment from companies based in Zhongguancun.

Qin Rupei, deputy governor of Guizhou, said the province plans to build a "top tier" cloud computing hub by 2020.

"Cloud computing business will spur the development of other industries such as hardware manufacturing, IT services and financing. All of these activities are critical to Guizhou's economy," said Qin.

Guizhou's ambitious cloud computing plan will face challenges from other inland provinces, which are also betting on new technologies to lift their economies.

The Big Three telecom giants are investing about 40 billion yuan in the region to build cloud facilities. China Telecom Corp Ltd, one of the Big Three, is setting up its largest cloud computing center in Hohhot, capital of Inner Mongolia.

Wang Xiaochu, chairman of China Telecom, said last year that it's time to install cloud computing facilities nationwide.

Shaanxi, Heilongjiang and Fujian provinces and the municipality of Tianjin have also launched cloud projects.

Chinese policymakers hope the growth of information consumption will give the economy a lift, especially as foreign trade remains weak.

Information consumption is likely to reach 3.2 trillion yuan by the end of 2015, according to the State Council, China's cabinet.

gaoyuan@chinadaily.com.cn

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