An employee maintains equipment at the China Mobile data center at a cloud computing base in Zhongwei city, northwest China’s Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, May 31, 2019. (Xinhua/Wang Peng)
BEIJING, April 4 (Xinhua) — A recent industry report has highlighted China’s impressive progress in computing power, ranking the country as one of the best of the major economies in the field.
The report, jointly released by Tsinghua University, the International Data Corporation and Chinese IT company Inspur Information, comprehensively evaluates the computing power, efficiency, application and infrastructure of 15 major economies.
The report notes that computing power has become the driving force in advancing the digital economy and states that increasing investment in this sector will have an enhanced and long-lasting effect on economic growth.
In the context of the booming cloud computing, artificial intelligence, 5G and other emerging technologies, analysts believe that computing power has become an important infrastructure that will shape China’s future technology landscape.
According to a recent policy announcement, China has started work on a mega project 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 (NDRC).
The move comes amid strong demand for computing capacity as the country follows the wave of digitization, but shortages of energy and land resources have limited data center expansion in the more developed regions.
“Computing power has already become an important infrastructure for national economic development,” the NDRC stated on its website, estimating that China’s demand for computing power will grow by more than 20 percent per year in the coming years.
By creating a national computing power network, the project will support the less developed regions with abundant renewables to store and process data sent from the economically advanced areas to address rising demand and regional capacity imbalances.
“Enterprise innovation activities must be supported by compute power,” said Peng Zhen, CEO of Inspur Information, adding that the future of massive amounts of data and high efficiency requires a smarter compute framework to support more enterprises.
“How to improve computing power to harness the vast amount of data and benefit economic development is a question we need to answer,” said Li Donghong, a researcher at Tsinghua University.
Statistics have shown that the size of China’s cloud computing market, which provides a glimpse into the country’s total computing power, exceeded 300 billion yuan (about $47.24 billion) in 2021, according to the China Academy of Information. and Communications Technology (CAICT).
“In the coming years, China’s cloud computing market is expected to maintain an average annual growth rate of 30 to 40 percent, with a market size of 1 trillion yuan by 2025,” said He Baohong, a researcher at the CAICT.
Looking ahead, analysts expect the cloud computing industry to seize the development opportunities offered by the country’s accelerated digitization drive.
According to a five-year plan released earlier this year, China aims to increase the value added share of the digital economy’s key sectors in its GDP to 10 percent by 2025, 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 governance system of the digital economy will noticeably improve, according to the plan.
China will strengthen its support for 6G research and development, enhance innovation in strategic areas such as integrated circuits and artificial intelligence, and facilitate the development of new business modes, according to the plan.