China is taking a great leap forward – this time in terms of data and data centres for cloud computing.  Data centres are the essential hardware infrastructure required for cloud computing, a service that allows powerful data processors to restructure and analyse the vast amounts of data, as well as simply let governments, corporations, and individuals store information.  In the last year, China has started a colossal data construction project in an effort to stimulate the economy, as well as to “improve efficiency, reduce cost and – most of the time – limit security risk,” at least according to Jouni Hakanen of global consultancy firm Accenture Plc.

Edward Tian is the founder and chairman of China Broadband Capital Partners LP, one of the most well known venture capitalists in the country, and most notably one of the very first to explore the big data business in China.  His company has now set up a data centre in Shenzhen, opened on March 30th, and constructed in under half a year.

“Data is the most valuable asset in the 21st century. We can build a long industry chain based on data-related businesses such as analytics, information security and statistics exchange,” Tian said.  China has already overtaken the US and EU in terms of spending on cloud computing facilities, who spend less of hardware.  “Let’s not forget that a well-functioning cloud computing system also requires considerable investment in software,” Hakanen adds.  The forces driving this demand for data centres are multiple, but include cloud computing and mobile internet, which are powered by data analytics and storage services.

Their demand for data centres not nearly satiated, China Mobile Ltd, China Telecom Corp Ltd, and China United Network Communications Group Co Ltd are all in the process of constructing their own data centres.  With over half a billion mobile internet users in 2013, investors and business leaders have expressed optimism about the cloud computing and big data industries in China.

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(Image Credit: Masanori K.)

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