Ningxia becomes the center of the digital economy

The first Data Valley in Western China Computing Industry Conference began Thursday in Yinchuan, capital of the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region. [Photo by Hu Dongmei/chinadaily.com.cn]

Northwest China’s Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region is accelerating efforts to build environmentally friendly, low-carbon and secure data center clusters, network infrastructure, and integrated computing power planning systems as part of its broader push to deliver new impetus to the digital economy and help meet the country’s double carbon goals, government officials and experts said.

Computing power, which serves as the primary productive force in the era of the digital economy, has become an important engine driving China’s economic growth, said Mai Yanzhou, a member of the Standing Committee of the Party’s Local Committee and Deputy Governor of Ningxia. Autonomous Hui. region.

Mai said that in recent years Ningxia has taken full advantage of its unique advantages in terms of location, climate and resources to promote the digital transformation of industries, the industrialization of digital technologies and the development of the digital economy.

By 2025, the number of data center racks, consisting of a physical frame made of steel and other alloys to house electronic servers, cables, networking devices, cooling systems and other computing equipment, is expected to reach 720,000 in Ningxia and use renewable energy rate to increase up to 65 percent, he noted.

Mai made her remarks at the first Data Valley computer industry conference in western China, which was held Thursday and Friday in Yinchuan, the capital of Ningxia.

A group of domestic and foreign technology companies such as Amazon Web Services, Meituan, China Unicom, China Mobile and China Telecom have built data centers in Ningxia to offer cloud computing services thanks to its abundant energy resources and cooler climate.

In February, China launched a mega-project involving the construction of eight national IT hubs and 10 national data center clusters, indicating its strategy to funnel more IT resources from the country’s eastern regions to less developed but resource-rich western regions is in full swing.

Ningxia is among the eight national computer hubs, with Zhongwei, a city in Ningxia included in the 10 national data centers.

Zhang Yunming, Deputy Minister of Industry and Information Technology, called for efforts to accelerate the construction of new infrastructure, including national integrated computing hubs, large and super-large data centers and intelligent computing centers, while strengthening integration insight into computing power with various industries such as healthcare, education, and government affairs.

In addition, more efforts are needed to promote green and low-carbon transformation and upgrade of IT infrastructure, Zhang said at the conference.

China’s total computing power scale now ranks second in the world, according to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. At the end of June, the number of data center racks in use exceeded 5.9 million, and the number of servers reached nearly 20 million in China.

The market scale of China’s computing power industry surpassed 1.5 trillion yuan ($ 213.9 billion) last year, with cloud computing surpassing 300 billion yuan and Internet data center services over 150 billion yuan, said the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology, a government think tank.

“Most of China’s IT infrastructure is currently deployed in the eastern regions, while the western regions have the potential to foster data center development and meet data processing needs in the eastern regions,” said Yu Xiaohui, head of China Academy of Information and Communication Technologies.

Yu said that the implementation of the east-data-west-computing project favors the optimization of the allocation of national computing power, the use of green energy in the western regions, the improvement of the energy efficiency of data centers and the promotion of emerging digital industries.

Liu Liehong, president of China Unicom, a major Chinese telecom operator, said the company has invested 3.2 billion yuan in Ningxia and will continually increase investment to accelerate construction of low-carbon, high-carbon data centers. efficiency. It is estimated that once the project is completed, the number of data center racks will amount to 12,000, with the number of servers reaching 400,000.

China Telecom actively participated in the country’s megaproject for computing power hubs and data center clusters. Shao Guanglu, general manager of China Telecom, said the company will build environmentally friendly data centers and secure and reliable computing platforms to promote the high-quality growth of the digital economy.

It also plans to explore building the country’s first integrated computing power planning and exchange platform in Ningxia and to provide and share computing power exchange solutions by collaborating with suppliers and service providers upstream and downstream of the industrial chain.

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