On January 6, 2014, the State Council, China’s cabinet, approved Guian New District as the eighth national new district.
The creation of this district has three strategic tasks: building an important economic growth engine in the western region, a new highland of inland open economy and an ecological civilisation demonstration zone.
Focusing on the three strategic tasks, Guian New District has taken the development of big data as an important engine for leapfrogging growth. It has made advance layout, started data centre construction, and focused on drawing a cloud computing blueprint.
Big ‘Big Data’ Push
In February 2016, Guizhou Province was approved to build the country’s first big data (Guizhou) comprehensive pilot zone. In the big data industry push, Guian leverages its geological stability, cool climate, rich ecological advantages and abundant energy to seek rapid development by creating world-class business environment and attracting industrial leaders.
Guian New District, the eighth national new area in China, has 15 large and super-large data centres in the pipeline or under construction, making it one of the regions with the largest number of super-large data centres in the world.
In the near future, this cloud centre surrounded by mountains will also give impetus to China’s project of processing the data from the country’s east in the country’s west to accelerate the development of digital China.
With the construction of a new batch of contracted projects, the investment scale of data centre in the new district is expected to exceed 100 billion yuan by 2025, according to Guian New District’s big data development service centre.
In the new district, the clustered data centre have attracted many leading enterprises in software and information technology services such as Guizhou-Cloud Big Data and Huawei Cloud Computing. Various cloud services are being rolled out at a fast clip.
Statistics showed that in the first quarter of 2021, the software and information technology service industry in Guian New District raked in 2.43 billion yuan, with a year-on-year growth of 114.71 per cent.
“Guian New District has become a strong magnetic field for the development of digital economy. At present, with Tencent Guian Seven Star Data centre as the centre, 12 super-large data centre are planned within a radius of 4 kilometers and an area of no more than 50 square kilometers, which can carry more than 4 million servers.
The average PUE value of data centre is below 1.4, and the average energy consumption of data centre basically reaches the international advanced level,” said Wang Jun, director with Guian New District’s big data development service centre.
In 2018, Guian New District was rated as the most suitable city and region for data centre investment by China Data centre Industry Development Alliance. In May this year, the iCloud (Guian) data centre jointly built by Guizhou-Cloud Big Data and Apple Inc. was officially put into operation.
The data centre, which took two years to build, is the first data centre in China that completely uses green and renewable energy. It has also obtained LEED Gold certification, a global recognition for green level.
Driven by AI
China is aggressively working toward becoming a global leader in big data analytics as part of its plan to achieve great power status; indeed, President Xi Jinping has articulated that China should become the global centre for AI by 2030.
Beijing’s efforts are guided by a national big data strategy, an effort that encompasses economic, military, police, and intelligence functions. China’s leaders’ quest to achieve an artificial intelligence (AI) capability to perform a variety of civilian and military functions starts with mastering big data analytics — the use of computers to make sense of large data sets, according to a report by RAND Corporation.
Other provinces have also undertaken tech initiatives to support Beijing’s vision.
In July, Guangdong Province said that it will ramp up efforts on data regulation by exploring the establishment of a “Data Customs”unit to review cross-border data flow and create a big data centre in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.
This move needs to be seen in the context of China wanting to strengthen its cybersecurity regulations after its fallout with Didi Chuxing.