China moves to promote Big Data development

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  • Author: Statistics Views
  • Date: 01 October 2015
  • Copyright: Image appears courtesy of Getty Images

China has long lagged behind its Western counterparts in the use and sharing of big data, but a recent proposal by the government's State Council aims to make up lost ground, promoting the collection and sharing of data between government departments and a gradual opening up of public data resources to improve social governance, the economy, public services and innovation.

thumbnail image: China moves to promote Big Data development

In the latest move since China's State Council issued guidelines to boost big data development, the country has launched its first big data pilot zone in the southwestern province of Guizhou. The pilot zone will see the building of Guizhou on the Cloud, a platform for provincial government data to be pooled, shared and exchanged. The platform will cover data from city- and county-level governments by the end of next year.

The action framework for promoting big data, ratified by Premier Li Keqiang, aims to nurture a group of 500 companies, including 10 leading global enterprises focused on big data application, services and manufacturing. It said a platform for sharing data between government departments should be established by the end of 2017 and a unified platform for government data should be established before the end of 2018. Many of China's main industries — electricity and telecommunications, for example — are largely controlled by the state, so their information is also in government hands. Currently, not only is the data that's available to the public very limited, but it's sometimes not terribly useful either. Data that is released is often made available in an unsophisticated text-based manner instead of with a database interface, and much of the most crucial information about government operations remains undisclosed.

However Wang Cunfu, an official with the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, stated that big data has become a strategic resource and core element for innovation. As the world's most populous country and the second largest economy, China is expected to account for 20 percent of the world's data capacity by 2020, creating a massive market for economic transformation.

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