[Global Times] China Drawing up Policy Guidelines on Data Sector


 [Global Times https://www.globaltimes.cn/page/202108/1230586.shtml]
China is drawing up a policy paper on data industry, an effort to accelerate the country's economic digitalization while strengthening protection of data security, two industry observers told the Global Times. 
The document will be made public later this year at the earliest, according to Chinese financial media caijing.com.
Photo taken on May 25, 2017 shows a demonstration center of Guizhou big data pilot zone in Guiyang, southwest China's Guizhou Province. Photo: Xinhua
"The effective use of big data is vital to China's economic development. Developing data trading markets can help the country to mature its efficient allocation of resources and create more value," Liu Gang, director of the Nankai Institute of Economics, and chief economist at the Chinese Institute of New Generation Artificial Intelligence Development Strategies, told the Global Times on Wednesday.
Statistics show how China's digital development has contributed to its economy. The value-added of China's digital economy jumped from 9.5 trillion yuan ($1.47 trillion) in 2011 to hit 39.2 trillion yuan in 2020, with its proportion of GDP soaring from 20.3 percent to 38.6 percent, according to the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology.
While the country is planning the blueprint for data sector, multiple local governments have set up their own data exchange centers.
On Tuesday, the Beijing International Big Data Exchange, which was established in March, announced the first batch of 10 cooperation partners, including the Institute of Atmospheric Physics at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing Internet Court, the big data center at State Grid, and China Unicom. 
Tech hub Shenzhen in Guangdong Province is also preparing for a data exchange with the participation of commercial banks and data infrastructure suppliers, and will cover the Greater Bay Area, which includes Hong Kong and Macao, media reports said. 
Boasting abundant big data and a large population, China's high level of digitalization is yielding benefits from the great attention from policy level and the era of digital transformation, Liu Xintian, CEO of Shandong Data Exchange Co, told the Global Times on Wednesday. 
Taking the company's business as an example, Liu said that it mainly deals with public data, finance and credit data. 
"We are also building an industrial big data platform for Shandong Province, out of the need for companies to share data in their industries.
"Many industrial companies have built their own data centers, but they lack a data circulation mechanism in their industry," he said. 
However, most local governments in China are mindful of the lack of relevant laws and regulations, industry observers said.
In addition, "we have to improve core technologies including algorithm development capabilities, an ultra-high-speed data transmission network and blockchain technology. Interdisciplinary talent is also needed," Liu said.
According to IDC, the data scale of China as a proportion of the global figure will increase from 23.4 percent in 2018 to 27.8 percent by 2025, when it will be at the highest level in the world.
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