XINING — The first Tibetan language information technology incubator, aiming to boost the development of IT in the country’s vast Tibetan areas, is expected to be completed in June next year, local authorities said.
With an investment of 78 million yuan ($11 million), the construction began on the incubation base in July 2017 in Gonghe county, Hainan Tibetan autonomous prefecture in Northwest China’s Qinghai province.
Based on the technology of China’s first Tibetan language search engine, Yongzin, or Yongzin.com, the incubator plans to include a Tibetan language data center, technology exploration center, product exhibition center, training center, online live studios and recording studios.
The center will invite technical and language experts, as well as micro-, small- and medium-sized internet enterprises.
“There are advantages for us to build such a significant base in the county, as we have excellent Chinese-Tibetan bilingual talents in Hainan, and we have abundant resources provided by Yongzin,” said Lagyai Zhoima, deputy director of the Tibetan language information and technology research center of the prefecture.
Lagyai said that the launching of Yongzin was to meet the growing demand from Tibetan-speaking people, who could previously only use Chinese search engines such as Baidu to search for information which was not all-inclusive. A professional Tibetan language search engine is able to provide more accurate information from all aspects in Tibetan.
She said that the search engine has been undergoing a series of updates on its system and webpage.
“Online payment is now available on the platform,” she said, adding that users are able to pay for more information services through Alipay and WeChat Pay.
Yongzin, literally meaning “master” or “teacher” in the Tibetan language, was launched in August 2016. It receives over 10 million visits per day. Its users are scattered throughout China and 70 other countries and regions, including the United States, Britain and India.
Qinghai has five Tibetan autonomous prefectures: Yushu, Hainan, Haibei, Huangnan, and Golog, as well as Haixi Mongol and Tibetan autonomous prefecture. It is home to nearly 1.5 million ethnic Tibetans, accounting for one-quarter of the entire population.
China’s Tibetans mainly live in the Tibet autonomous region and parts of Qinghai, Sichuan, Gansu and Yunnan provinces.