Intel (China) Ltd yesterday signed an agreement with the Guangdong Provincial Information Industry Department to promote the use of information technology in the province's rural areas.
Under the agreement, Intel will provide financial and technological support and human resources to the province's IT applications for rural areas program.
The program provides training, the construction of IT application experience centers, development of information resources and content, development of affordable and computers and software, as well as service promotions.
The plan is to establish 100 IT application experience centers in the province and offer training courses for 3,000 rural information service staff members, who will then train a rural population of one million throughout the province.
The IT application experience centers, by integrating the resources of the government, computer manufacturers, Internet operators and content providers, will be able to train the rural population on how to use a computer, how to use the Internet and produce Internet advertisements.
The centers will also offer Internet access to those who cannot afford personal computers and will offer professional consultation services, free of charge, on purchasing a computer.
A thousand IT application experience centers are to be set up in the province over a period of three years.
"IT application in rural areas is a long-term and systematic project," said Jane Price, Intel China country manager. "It is Intel's long-term commitment to offer all kinds of support for the promotion of the project."
She said Intel has also participated in the pilot rural IT applications projects in Beijing, Sichuan, Chongqing, Shandong, Henan and Yunnan.
Price said Intel's involvement in the rural IT applications program in Guangdong and in other parts of China is part of the company's "World Ahead Program".
With capital inputs of more than US$1 billion over the coming five years, the program aims to expedite access to technology and education for people in developing countries worldwide.
The program aims to create opportunities for widespread ownership and use of personal computers, to expand wireless broadband Internet access, and groom students for success in the global economy.
Vice-Minister of the Information Industry Gou Zhongwen spoke highly of Guangdong's efforts to promote IT applications in its rural regions, saying that the province's IT program has become a vanguard of the nation.
Guangdong began introducing IT applications to the rural areas in 2003, and has earmarked 175 million yuan (US$21.58 million) for the program.
(China Daily May 17, 2006)