(MENAFN- Asia Times)
China continues to expand institutional support of data trading and high-tech application development, with the Shenzhen Data Exchange and the Advanced Technology Application and Promotion Centre in Hefei, capital of Anhui province, making the news last month.
Official trading on the Shenzhen Data Exchange began in on November 15 with nearly 100 data providers, 100 brokers and 300 buyers registered. This followed a trial period of almost a year during which more than 400 trades valued at about US$150 million were completed.
The exchange issues data-provider, exchange-trading and cross-border trading certificates and provides data registration, security compliance and technical support, rules and standards, supply/demand connection and data circulation elements supporting a market-oriented trading platform that can adapt to China's growing and changing digital economy.
The first data-provider certificates were granted to the Shenzhen branches of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, the Bank of Communications and China Unicom, SF Technology, Shenzhen Credit Information, the Shenzhen Power Supply Bureau, and SF Technology, a subsidiary of SF Express, a logistics and delivery service provider based in Shenzhen.
The idea behind a data exchange is to create a commodity market similar to physical commodities markets through which corporate and other institutional data, heretofore largely confined to its creators, can be shared with and transferred to buyers who can put it to profitable use, increasing economic efficiency and accelerating economic development.
To this end, the Shenzhen Data Exchange has amassed more than 600 data products from 55 different data sources including government departments, electric-power and other public utilities, finance, industry, trade and information gleaned from media reports.
Several overseas asset-management companies have already purchased data on the exchange. Data products – for example electricity consumption data – can be used to assess creditworthiness and detect fraud. Unstructured data are transformed into data elements tradable on the exchange.
The Shenzhen Data Exchange is expected to benefit from its proximity to the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area Big Data Center, the National Supercomputing Center, and the Peng Cheng Cloud Brain, an AI computing platform built by the Peng Cheng Laboratory and Huawei for research into computer vision, natural language, autonomous driving, smart transportation, and smart health care.
According to the State Information Center (Administration Center of China E-government Network), there are more than 40 data exchanges operating or planned in China. Among them are exchanges operating in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen. The first to be established, in April 2015, is located in guiyang , the capital of Guizhou province
The shanghai data exchange , which opened in November 2021, was the first to provide open public data from the municipal government. That same month, the Beijing International Big Data Exchange, which was established in April 2021, launched a trading contract utilizing blockchain technology.
The Guangzhou Data Exchange was established in June this year. It is part of the Nansha International Data Free Trade Port established in Guangzhou in June to regulate international data transfers via a data center and undersea cables.
All that having been said, it is reported that many companies that want to use the data exchanges hesitate to do so because data ownership criteria are not sufficiently clear, trading and legal frameworks immature, and the products available of poor quality.
China's 14th Five-Year Plan, which runs from 2021 to 2025, identifies data as a key factor of production alongside land, labor, capital and technology. It will be interesting to see how much larger and better organized the data exchanges will be at the end of this period. The Hefei center
On November 27, China's National Development and Reform Commission and the city government announced that Hefei had been selected as the site of a new Advanced Technology Application and Promotion Center. The Commission is a ministerial-level department of China's State Council that implements decisions of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party.
The Hefei center will promote collaboration between universities and other research institutions, state-owned enterprises and private companies. Its remit will reportedly cover a wide range of technologies including alternative energy, advanced materials, aviation, medicine and computing, and systems for e-commerce in pharmaceuticals and trading of electronic components.
Earlier in the month, Hefei hosted the 2022 World Conference on Integrated Circuits. Sponsored by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and the Anhui provincial government, the conference attracted high-profile participants from China, the US, the UK, Europe, Japan and South Korea, including Intel, IBM, Qualcomm and Huawei.
(Note: The Hefei conference should not be confused with the International Conference on Integrated Circuits and Microsystems held in Xian in October.)
Anhui province has a substantial semiconductor industry, with more than 400 companies involved in design, equipment, materials, wafer processing, packaging and test. Among the most prominent of these is DRAM maker Changxin Memory Technologies (CXMT), which is headquartered in Hefei.
In addition to semiconductors, Anhui has a large and diversified industrial base ranging from electronics to medical instruments and autos. Volkswagen makes electric vehicles in Anhui. Numerous institutes of higher education, including the Hefei University of Technology and Anhui Medical University, are located in the province.
Similar technology centers are expected to be established elsewhere in China as the government seeks to replicate the Shenzhen model and take advantage of regional competition to further the development of high-tech research and industry.
While US sanctions dominate the headlines, China's nationwide technology and industrial development programs keep growing.
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