The Chinese government is pushing through a major technology initiative, to help place innovation at the heart of the economy.
The “Internet Plus” action plan was announced by Premier Li Keqiang, in his work report in March. It aims to integrate mobile Internet, cloud computing, big data and the Internet of things, and let them be a driving force for innovation.
The “Clouds” are gathering in China. More and more companies are offering easy online data storage, at low cost.
Deals are being made across various sectors. Government agencies, finance companies, petrochemical giants and health care providers — all are finding that “getting into the cloud” can take them higher.
“The Internet Plus strategy will bring about many changes. The core of the strategy is connectivity. Every industry will change because of it. For example, people will be able to buy things, wherever and whoever they are. People can interact with things around them and get information. I believe the next five years will see the whole industry chain expanded and upgraded,” said Wu Yazhou, CEO of Leshi Cloudcomputing LTD.
China’s overall cloud computing chain is expected to be worth at least $120 billion by the end of this year.
With their eye on the prospects, industry giants have jumped in. Entertainment provider LeTV, search engine Baidu and e-commerce leader Alibaba are all developing their own cloud platforms.
Global competitors, such as Microsoft, are looking to gain a foothold in the Chinese market.
“We’re working with Microsoft on building the infrastructure of our cloud system. In the domestic market, with the rapid rise of Internet speeds, our cloud service will provide a platform for people to watch content wherever they are. On TV, in cars, and on their phones. We also have a strategy to go abroad and take our platform to an overseas audience,” said Gao.
That’s something Alibaba has already done, launching its first overseas data center in Silicon Valley last month.
The US listed Chinese company aims to serve clients globally.
“China’s cloud industry and major service providers are all tabling out their solutions and products now. This is an unstoppable trend in China as different industries all have information needs. Government policies can also help support the development of domestic clouds,” said Cao Sanxing, standing board member of China Cloud OS Alliance.