Ningxia develops as a hub of the digital economy
By HU DONGMEI in Yinchuan and FAN FEIFEI in Beijing for China Daily, updated: 2022-09-21 09:22
As part of a larger initiative to revitalise the digital economy and support the country’s dual carbon goals, the Ningxia Hui autonomous region in northwest China is stepping up efforts to build green, low-carbon, and secure data centre clusters, network infrastructure, and integrated computing power scheduling systems, officials and experts said.
According to Mai Yanzhou, a member of the Standing Committee of the local Party committee and vice-governor of the Ningxia Hui autonomous region, computing power, which serves as a key productive force in the era of the digital economy, has grown to be a significant engine driving China’s economic growth.
According to Mai, Ningxia has fully utilised its distinct advantages in terms of geography, climate, and resources in recent years to support the industrialization of digital technologies, the growth of the digital economy, and the digital transformation of industries.
In Ningxia, it is anticipated that by 2025, there will be 720,000 data centre racks, which are physical frames made of steel and other alloys that house electronic servers, cables, networking equipment, cooling systems, and other computing equipment. Additionally, up to 65% more renewable energy is expected to be used at that time.
Mai delivered the statements on Thursday and Friday in Yinchuan, the Ningxia province’s capital, during the inaugural Data Valley in Western China Computing Industry Conference.
Due to Ningxia’s plentiful energy supplies and cooler environment, a number of IT businesses from both domestic and international, including Amazon Web Services, Meituan, China Unicom, China Mobile, and China Telecom, have erected data centres to provide cloud computing services.
China’s megaproject to build eight national computing hubs and ten national data centre clusters was inaugurated in February, showing that the country’s plan to shift more computing resources from its less developed eastern regions to its resource-rich western regions is well underway.
With Zhongwei, a city in Ningxia, being one of the 10 national data centres, Ningxia is one of eight national computing centres.
Vice-minister of Industry and IT Zhang Yunming called for hastened development of new infrastructure, including large and super-large data centres, intelligent computing centres, national integrated computing hubs, and deep integration of computing power with various industries, such as healthcare, education, and government affairs.
The transition and modernization of computing infrastructure must also be accelerated, according to Zhang, who spoke at the conference.
According to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, China’s overall computing power scale now holds the second-best position in the world. By the end of June, there were more than 5.9 million active data centre racks and nearly 20 million servers in China.
According to the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology, a government think tank, the market size of China’s computing power industry exceeded 1.5 trillion yuan ($213.9 billion) last year, with cloud computing surpassing 300 billion yuan and internet data centre services exceeding 150 billion yuan.
According to Yu Xiaohui, head of the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology, “Most of China’s computing infrastructure is currently distributed in the eastern regions, while the western regions have the potential to foster the development of data centres and meet the needs of data computing in the eastern regions.”
According to Yu, the east-data-west computing project’s execution will optimise the use of national computing power, use renewable energy in western regions, increase data centre energy efficiency, and support developing digital businesses.
A significant Chinese telecom operator, China Unicom, has spent 3.2 billion yuan in Ningxia and will continue to do so in order to accelerate the development of low-carbon, high-efficiency data centres, according to Liu Liehong, chairman of China Unicom. After the project is finished, it is anticipated that there will be 12,000 data centre racks and 400,000 servers total.
China Telecom has actively taken part in the nation’s megaproject for data centre clusters and centres of computing capacity. According to China Telecom’s general manager Shao Guanglu, the company will construct environmentally friendly data centres and secure, dependable computing infrastructure to support the high-quality expansion of the digital economy.
Additionally, it intends to look into building Ningxia, China’s first integrated platform for trading and scheduling computing power, as well as to collaborate with suppliers and service providers upstream and downstream of the industrial chain to offer and share computing power trading solutions.