Data management key to smart city success

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China's emphasis on promoting the development of smart cities and urban digital transformation is expected to bolster the innovative growth of the digital economy, help foster new quality productive forces and push forward the modernization of urban governance systems and capacity, officials and experts said.

Noting that data serve as the foundation and core element of the digital economy, they called for more efforts to promote the exploitation and opening up of data, as well as the efficient circulation and use of data elements, while expanding the application scenarios for data in more key fields.

Liu Liehong, head of the National Data Administration, said more efforts are needed to support urban areas to accelerate the implementation of basic systems for data that cover data property rights, circulation and trading, revenue distribution and security governance in light of their own conditions, and build dynamic, classified and graded data management systems so as to unleash the value of data resources.

Liu made the remarks at a subforum of the 7th Digital China Summit, which ended on Saturday in Fuzhou, Fujian province. Liu highlighted that accelerating the digital transformation of cities is key to advancing the building of a "Digital China".

He said China will make greater efforts to establish multilayered industrial internet platforms, achieve breakthroughs in core technologies in key fields including big data and artificial intelligence, nurture future-oriented industries and build digital industrial clusters with international competitiveness.

Liu stressed the significance of bolstering the digital transformation of cities, building basic infrastructure for data circulation and utilization, as well as pressing ahead with the construction of urban computing power networks, in a bid to boost the efficient allocation of data elements and lay a solid foundation for the development of an urban digital economy.

By 2027, China expects to see significant progress in the digital transformation of urban areas, and to have built a number of livable, resilient and smart cities, according to a document released by the NDA and several other government departments.

Guo Tao, deputy head of the China Electronic Commerce Expert Service Center, said data have been regarded as an important force to promote the development of the digital economy, and the newly launched guideline will be conducive to establishing a national integrated big data system for government affairs and formulating unified data standards.

The move is also expected to facilitate the exchange, sharing, circulation and utilization of data among different systems and platforms, bolster the construction of data infrastructure and improve the innovative management model for data elements, Guo said.

Computing power and data elements have played a vital role in underpinning the development of the digital economy, said Zeng Zhenyu, vice-president of Alibaba Cloud Intelligence, the cloud computing unit of Chinese tech heavyweight Alibaba Group.

Zeng said the company has ramped up efforts to build computing power infrastructure across the globe, and boost the intelligent and digital transformation of a wide range of fields by applying its innovative digital technologies, such as cloud computing, big data and artificial intelligence-powered large language models.

Liu Yong, vice-president of Tencent Holdings Ltd, said the company is doubling down on the burgeoning industrial internet sector in a move to bolster the integration of digital technologies with various industries, and improve the operational efficiency of enterprises and reduce costs.

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