China is taking steps to create a national supercomputing framework to support its digital initiatives and propel the development of emerging technologies like artificial intelligence (AI). The framework is slated to be operational by the end of 2025 and will consolidate computing resources across the country to promote local development efforts. Its objective is to create a more cohesive system that can distribute computing capacity more effectively to areas where it is most needed. This move is critical in promoting the growth of big data, AI, and other emerging technologies that rely on significant computing power.
By implementing a national framework, China hopes to overcome several challenges, including the uneven distribution of computing power, the lack of standardization, and the insufficient incentives for creating and adopting locally developed software. According to the state-owned newspaper China Daily, China is seeking public input to establish AI laws, similar to the United States.
The national supercomputing infrastructure will interconnect all supercomputing centers in China to provide an integrated computing service platform, according to a report by Yicai Global, an English news service belonging to the state-owned Shanghai Media Group. This infrastructure will play a vital role in driving China’s digital roadmap, which aims to enhance interconnectivity and promote digital technology innovation.
The “digital China” strategy, which includes 13 targets, was unveiled in February and is expected to be completed by 2025 and 2035, covering digital infrastructure, data resources, and digital governance. The roadmap emphasises the need to eliminate obstacles and expedite the establishment of infrastructures such as 5G and Internet of Things (IoT) networks. It also focuses on data aggregation and utilisation, as well as the creation of data governance and policies.
Wu Lianfeng, IDC China’s vice president and chief research analyst, noted that the roadmap highlights the need to remove barriers and accelerate the construction of infrastructures, such as 5G and IoT networks. In September 2022, China announced plans to build 50 more high-tech zones by 2030 to spur GDP growth and achieve breakthroughs in quantum computing and 5G communication. Currently, there are 173 high-tech zones in China, with 84 established in the last decade alone. The government aims to increase this number to 220 by the end of the 14th Five-Year Plan, according to the Ministry of Science and Technology.
Overall, China’s national supercomputing framework is a critical step in advancing its digital initiatives and promoting the development of emerging technologies like AI. By consolidating computing resources and creating a more cohesive system, China hopes to overcome key challenges and achieve its digital roadmap targets.