GUIYANG－”Grow up, bamboo shoots! Wake up, spring is coming,” recites a pupil at Yata Elementary School. The school is in a remote mountainous area of Southwest China’s Guizhou province, an area of significant poverty, with telephones only becoming available in recent years.
But now, via a cloud computing education system, students at the school can read the same books and listen to the same teachers as pupils at Xingyi Elementary School, the best school in Qianxinan, which is 100 kilometers away.
Gone are the days when the only teaching equipment at Yata was a blackboard and a box of chalk.
Guizhou is a pilot province for such cloud computing programs and the use of big data.
Currently, 36 government departments in the province, including the Guizhou Health and Family Planning Commission, and the Guizhou Department of Human Resources and Social Security, are using cloud computing and big data to provide better services to the public, especially in areas such as credit, transport and healthcare.
“With the opening of government data, government authorities can analyze public needs to provide better services to the general public,” said Tang Zhiwei, professor and dean of the school of political science and public administration at the University of Electronic Science and Technology of China.
“In the past, residents had to go to government offices to handle administrative affairs. Now things can be done with just a few clicks of a mouse thanks to government data sharing,” said Zhang Xiao, deputy director of the China Internet Network Information Center.
Last week, the State Council released a circular calling for the sharing of government data to bring maximum benefit to the public. It suggested departments of the State Council and local governments share their information systems to improve administrative efficiency.
According to statistics from the ongoing 2017 China International Big Data Expo in Guiyang, capital of Guizhou province, more than 80 percent of China’s big data is in the hands of government authorities.
“The biggest value of government data is in its sharing and the greater convenience it offers the public,” said Wu Hequan, an academician with the Chinese Academy of Engineering.
In Jiangsu province, for instance, the local government is speeding up reforms to open data to the public, and residents can now directly pay taxes or get tax reimbursements via one of the government’s websites.
In neighboring Zhejiang province, the provincial government’s goal is that by 2020 local residents will no longer need to go to government offices for at least half of all government-related affairs.
“Big data has truly become a new driving force behind the development of our society,” said Ni Guangnan, an academician at the Chinese Academy of Engineering.