Nation embraces digital prospects with growing computing capacity

Visitors check out a smart city system displayed at an international big data expo in Guiyang, Guizhou province, in May. [Photo/Xinhua]

BEIJING - A recent industry report has highlighted China’s impressive advances in computing power, ranking the country as one of the best among major economies in the field.

The report, jointly released by Tsinghua University International Data Corp and Chinese IT firm Inspur Information, comprehensively assesses the computing power, efficiency, application and infrastructure of 15 major economies.

Noting that computing power has become the driving force in promoting the digital economy, the report said increasing investment in this sector will have an amplified and long-term effect on economic growth.

In the context of booming cloud computing, artificial intelligence, 5G, and other emerging technologies, analysts believe that computing power has become an important component of infrastructure that will shape China’s future technological landscape.

Optimized infrastructure

According to a recent policy announcement, China has begun work on a megaproject to build an integrated national big data system to improve overall computing power and resource efficiency.

The project involves establishing eight national computing hubs in the country’s economic powerhouses and less developed yet resource-rich regions, plus 10 national data center clusters, according to the National Development and Reform Commission.

The move comes amid a surge of demand for computing capacity as the country rides the digitalization wave, but shortages of energy and land resources have limited the expansion of data centers in more developed regions.

“Computing power has already become an important part of infrastructure for national economic development,” the NDRC stated on its website, estimating China’s demand for computing power will rise by over 20 percent annually in upcoming years.

By creating a national computing power network, the project will support less-developed regions with abundant renewable energy resources to store and process data transmitted from economically advanced areas to address soaring demand and regional capacity imbalances.

“Innovation activities of enterprises need to be backed by computing power,” said Peng Zhen, CEO of Inspur Information. “The future featuring massive data and high efficiency calls for a smarter computing power framework to support more enterprises.”

Empowered future

“How to improve computing power to utilize the massive data and benefit economic development is a question that we have to address,” said Li Donghong, a researcher at Tsinghua University.

Statistics have shown that the scale of China’s cloud computing market, which offers a glimpse into the country’s overall computing power, exceeded 300 billion yuan ($ 47.24 billion) in 2021, according to the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology.

“In the next few years, China’s cloud computing market is expected to maintain an average annual growth rate of 30 to 40 percent, with the market size reaching 1 trillion yuan by 2025,” said He Baohong, a researcher with the CAICT.

Looking ahead, analysts expect the cloud computing industry to grasp development opportunities brought by the country’s accelerated digitalization drive.

According to a five-year plan released earlier this year, China aims to raise the proportion of the added value of core digital economy industries in its GDP to 10 percent in 2025, up from 7.8 percent in 2020.

By 2025, China will see the digital transformation of industries reach a new level, digital public services will become more inclusive, and the digital economy governance system will improve noticeably, per the plan.

China will strengthen its support of 6G research and development, enhance innovation in strategic fields such as integrated circuits and artificial intelligence, and facilitate the development of new business modes, according to the plan.

Xinhua

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