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China's East Data West Computing plan involves building huge data centers Image: Bloomberg

China Pledges to Speed Up Digital Infrastructure Build

The ‘East Data West Computing’ plan involves building huge data centers in poorer western provinces.

(Bloomberg) -- Liu Liehong, head of China’s new National Data Bureau, pledged to build the nation’s integrated computing power network ahead of schedule amid aims to expand the country’s digital infrastructure.

In an article published by the party magazine Qiushi on Saturday, Liu stated the regulator will actively promote the application of emerging network technologies with low delay, large bandwidth, and high reliability in the “East Data West Computing” project, while opening up the network trunk road between national and non-national hub nodes to improve the transmission performance and network response speed.

While encouraging telecommunications providers to develop the new computing network, Liu said that computational resources should be concentrated both on quantity and quality and avoid disorderly construction.

Liu’s remarks follow goals set by China last year to build a national computing network to support the digital economy. The “East Data West Computing” plan involves building huge data centers in poorer western provinces to hold data generated by internet companies based in the east. 

Chinese officials have said they see computing power playing the same key infrastructure role that waterways and electricity grids have in the past, particularly amid technological disputes with the US.

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