Cloud com­put­ing en­ters ‘golden time’ in China

The Nation - - BUSINESS -

WITH AR­TI­FI­CIAL in­tel­li­gence (AI) boom­ing across the world, cloud com­put­ing as its sup­port­ive in­fra­struc­ture en­ters the “golden time” for de­vel­op­ment, Eco­nomic Information Daily re­ported yes­ter­day

The news­pa­per said that the wide use of AI can­not hap­pen with­out cloud com­put­ing, which helps im­prove ef­fi­ciency hard­ware us­age and avoid idle­ness and waste of the re­sources.

And this re­flects in the price: cloud com­put­ing pro­vides the same ser­vices for 1 yuan that tra­di­tional IT com­pa­nies of­fer for 4 yuan.

In July, China’s State Coun­cil, is­sued guide­lines on AI de­vel­op­ment, and AI projects and other ar­eas re­lated to AI, such as big data, cloud com­put­ing, quan­tum com­put­ing, and brain sci­ence, have also been pro­posed.

The guide­line set three stages for AI de­vel­op­ment by 2030: catch up with the ad­vanced global lev­els in AI tech­nol­ogy and ap­pli­ca­tion by 2020, make ma­jor break­throughs in ba­sic the­o­ries by 2025, and be­come a global in­no­va­tion cen­tre in this field by 2030.

The to­tal out­put value of AI in­dus­try is ex­pected to ex­ceed 1 tril­lion yuan ($151.78 bil­lion).

CNBC cited a re­port from Gold­man Sachs ear­lier last month that the ini­tial ben­e­fits of AI are ex­pected to go to China's three large in­ter­net com­pa­nies, Baidu, Alibaba and Ten­cent (BAT), be­cause they have sub­stan­tial and unique data sets and have the right size of re­sources to take ad­van­tage of the tech­nol­ogy.

Alibaba Cloud, the cloud com­put­ing arm of Alibaba Group, an­nounced in June that it plans to open data cen­ters in In­dia and In­done­sia, send­ing its to­tal num­ber of data cen­ter lo­ca­tions to 17, which range from Chi­nese main­land, Aus­tralia, Ger­many, Ja­pan, China's Hong Kong, Sin­ga­pore, the United Arab Emi­rates to the United States.

At the same time, Ten­cent also said in April that Ten­cent Cloud, its cloud com­put­ing arm, will es­tab­lish five more data cen­ters this year in Sil­i­con Val­ley, Frank­furt, Mum­bai, Seoul and Moscow. How­ever, Zhong Yuanhe, head of data cen­ter of Ten­cent tech­ni­cal engi­neer­ing group, said to The Pa­per in June that the to­tal num­ber of servers in data cen­ters of BAT even misses to catch up a half size of Ama­zon, whose sub­sidiary, Ama­zon Web Ser­vices (AWS), pro­vides cloud com­put­ing ser­vices to busi­nesses.

In ad­di­tion, lack of recog­nised stan­dard for these data cen­ters is an­other con­cern. Liu Song, vice-pres­i­dent of Alibaba Group, told Eco­nomic Information Daily that China could try to es­tab­lish a stan­dard for build­ing a data cen­ter by re­fer­ring to those of lead­ing in­ter­na­tional en­ter­prises and re­quire­ment of large-scale public cloud com­put­ing.

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