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Zhaoxing Dong Village
Zhaoxing Dong Village,Qiandongnan,
Guizhou Province, China

When one thinks of Guizhou, the image of its lush landscapes and ethnic customs come to mind. While the province is undeniably beautiful, most people could never imagine it being a city like Beijing or Shanghai, filled with modern buildings and high-tech firms.

But that’s all changing, thanks to the development of big data. Since 2014, the province has made multiple innovations and groundbreaking developments in China’s big data industry. In fact, Guizhou is now home to China’s first big data pilot zone. Its capital, Guiyang, was named by the Milken Institute as “The Best Performing City”. Five years ago, there were less than a thousand big data companies in Guizhou; now, there are about 8,900.

What happened, and how did these changes take place in Guizhou? Why are multinational companies, such as Apple, Qualcomm, Intel, Hewlett-Packard, Oracle, SAP, Alibaba, Tencent, Huawei, etc., flocking to Guizhou?

If you miss the opportunity in Guangdong and Zhejiang 30 years ago, don’t miss Guizhou today.

New Forces for Growth

China’s Ministry of Industry Information Technology has said that Guizhou is the best place to build data centers in southern China. It turns out, the typical karst land formations in Guizhou—which once hindered its development—is the perfect environment for big data infrastructure.

Located near 26 degrees north latitude, Guizhou’s ideal weather brings cool air to servers in data centers; this in turn reduces IDC energy consumption. Terry Gou, chairman of Hon Hai Precision Industry, the world's biggest electronic contractor, said that “one reason why Foxconn chose Guizhou is its unparalleled ecological advantages.” The tech giant has built a wind tunnel wedged between two mountains, so its servers are being kept cool, naturally.

Guizhou is also rich in hydropower, providing beneficial and reliable clean energy to data centers.

The province is also the only area in western China that has achieved county- level connections by highway. The three-dimensional transportation network, which includes high speed railways and civil aviation, has made Guizhou a traffic hub in western China. Its internet architecture is the backbone of China’s internet: its premium bandwidth and network speed continues to be an important player in the high-tech electronic information industry.

Guizhou Expressway
Guizhou Expressway

One reason why Foxconn chose Guizhou is its unparalleled ecological advantages.

Guizhou's efforts in sustainable development has been impressive and the province was one of the most promising places in China to set up data centers.

– Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives

Because of this superb network, rural areas have seen a 30% annual growth in e-commerce—much higher than the average growth rate of agricultural enterprises in China, and closer to the average industrial enterprise e- commerce rate of 55.1%.

At present, three major telecom carriers in China, as well as companies like Apple, Huawei, Tencent, and Foxconn have decided to build their core data centers in Guizhou.

Shaped by an Innovative

According to the report issued by China State Information Center on the country’s big data development, Guizhou had the highest big data development index in China in 2017. In addition, five institutions in Guizhou ranked in the Top 10 Influential Local Government Agencies for Big Data.

Guizhou has introduced many guidance documents to provide political support for big data development. The province has also done research and set standards in legislation; this move sees a change in China’s traditional growth model, providing more innovation and start-up opportunities.

Truck Alliance at Guiyang International Big Data Expo
Truck Alliance at Guiyang International Big Data Expo

It’s not just big tech companies taking notice of Guizhou’s tech developments. With its beautiful ecological environment, powerful political support and improved infrastructure, the area is playing an increasingly important role for start-ups for inland China.

The rise of many innovative and influential enterprises in Guizhou have set a good example for the rest of the country. Many young people with big data dreams are settling in Guizhou. According to the Chinese College Graduate Employment Report published by Alibaba in 2016, Guizhou ranked seventh in places that Chinese college students moved to after graduation. Guiyang also placed second in Tencent’s 2017 ranking of vigorous cities in China.

This is good news for startups: since 2016, big data industry entrepreneurs — some of them start-up companies — have qualified for huge funding.

Truck Alliance (货车帮) is one of them. One of 55 startups worth more than $3 billion, Truck Alliance is a trucking information platform that aggregates road logistics information that is then integrated into national cargo services. So far, Truck Alliance has 5.2 million driver members, and 1.25 million shippers. Its system can automatically match transportation requests demanded by shipping companies, which greatly reduces the empty-loading ratio. Every year, Truck Alliance’s program has helped save 50 billion yuan worth of fuel, and reduced carbon emissions by 27-million- ton in China.

Baishan Cloud is another start-up success story. A service provider for cloud delivery and warehousing, it currently serves 70% of internet users, and its business volume has increased by more than 60 times since its founding in 2015.

A local car-sharing start-up in Guizhou took only six months before it they made profit.

Even multinationals are taking notice: data company Esgyn in Guiyang now houses some of JPMorgan and’s database—making this the first time a Chinese database product has catered to global top financial groups.

Big Data, New Growth

With Guizhou seeing its second biggest growth point in 2017 in the electronic information manufacturing industry, and in the electric power sector, there is new energy for economic development, especially for data processing, data safety and data exchange.

Last year, it staged big data information sessions in Silicon Valley and Bangalore, sharing market opportunities in China’s big data valley. And for the past three years, Guiyang has held an International Big Data Expo, with successful participation from seven of the top 10 internet companies in the world.

This ongoing cooperation of Guizhou with the world’s two other tech powerhouses has attracted institutions such as Apple, Qualcomm, Intel, University of California Berkeley, Stanford University, Infosys, NIIT (National Institute of Information Technology) to invest and run schools in the province, resulting in Guizhou as an area for desirable employment opportunities for Chinese college graduates.

Big data technology has also helped address the development problem faced by traditional businesses.

The government has launched a large-scale initiative in 2018 to encourage 10 thousand enterprises to use big data technology to improve their network and service in five years. It is estimated that this initiative will help create a market worth 120 billion dollars. And it seems to be working: Moutai, a traditional enterprise, has seen an improvement in its management, sales, and service after employing big data in its supply chain logistics and transaction platform. The same effect can also be found in agriculture, manufacturing and other industries.

The Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical radio Telescope (FAST) in Guizhou

Growing Sense of Gain

Poverty alleviation is a national priority for the Chinese government, especially in Guizhou. And the application of big data technology has helped in solving the poverty problem.

The Guizhou government has created a platform that uses big data to specifically target problem areas. The poverty alleviation platform connects state departments with provincial and municipal departments, intuitively showing detailed information of the poverty population. It can also share real- time information with multiple administrative departments, as well as display subsidies for poor students.

Big data has also helped alleviate the transportation problem within rural areas. Applications based on data from multiple departments have been developed, allowing rural residents to avail of the same car-booking services enjoyed in cities.

Healthcare has also greatly benefited from big data. Studies show that the healthcare cloud will be able to provide long-distance healthcare services to people in remote areas, giving them access to the same health services in cities.

As for lower government units, civil servants and civilians can now handle their affairs at home without having to visit government agencies. Guizhou Cloud Big Data has collected 3856 public services from various departments, simplifying government procedures and operations.

Safe to say that “Big Data” is now the new calling card of Guizhou. The growth and development of the province parallels what was happening in the Northern California area right before it transformed into Silicon Valley. More than ever, it is looking like the same fate is in store for Guizhou.

Delegate to the 13th National People’s Congress and CEO of BaishanCloud Huo Tao paid testament to the changes seen in Guizhou. “I am one of the thousands of people who left their hometown and settled in Guizhou,” he shared. “During the past five years, Guizhou has made a smart start and great development in the field of big data. As far as I know, there are more than 12,000 big data enterprises in Guizhou. We are very proud to be part of it.”

Big data

The Road to Success

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