Over the past half decade, Guizhou province has attracted investment and projects globally from more than 9,500 companies, some of which are household names – Google, Apple and China’s own Alibaba and Tencent.
The rapid growth of the tech industry, which now contributes more than 20 percent of the province’s GDP, received new momentum as far back as March 2014, with President Xi Jinping’s call to develop big data.
Joining a group discussion with deputies from Guizhou during the annual session of the National People’s Congress that year, Xi noted that the province had advantages that could help it fuel the growth of big data. Then, on a subsequent trip, Xi asked the province to be strategically innovative and to discover ways to attract big data investment and develop the electronic information industry.
Since then, a number of local companies have risen to the challenge. Guiyang Longmaster Information and Technology Co, for example, offered a solution to the difficulties in seeking medical care by setting up an internet hospital in 2016.
Its platform, called 39 Internet Hospital, connects patients who have complex diseases to some of the top doctors in the country. So far, it has developed a network of some 2,000 medical experts from more than 200 well-known Chinese hospitals, including Peking Union Medical College Hospital and Chinese PLA General Hospital.
“The online initiative, which raised 70 million yuan ($10.5 million) from investors, is part of our broader effort to revolutionize the medical care sector with a service-oriented approach,” said Wang Wei, chairman of the company.
The latest figures provided by the company showed that it has provided remote medical consulting in more than 100,000 cases, and also collaborated with nearly 300 medical institutions to help improve and upgrade local clinics.
In another innovation, a flood alarm system developed by Guizhou East Century Science and Technology Co provides technical support to more than 10,000 reservoirs in China and helps them to reduce the risk of disaster.
According to Li Sheng, chairman of the company, the alarm system, known as East Auspicious Cloud, can cover 80 percent of the land area on earth with alerts about flood risks by monitoring reservoirs and river water levels. It relies on a large amount of data collected through remote sensing, including both land and climate data and can accurately predict rainfall in the next 72 hours.
“The International Big Data Industry Expo and various big data innovation contests organized by the government have attracted global attention and created a platform for recruitment and financing of talent for enterprises in Guizhou,” Li said.
“In 2015, East Auspicious Cloud won the top prize in the provincial big data contest, which has helped the company amass a support fund of 5 million yuan and develop a series of policy supports,” he added.
As the first national big data pilot zone, Guizhou has abundant advantages for the development of the big data industry in resources, environment, policy, location and other aspects, and it has integrated big data technology with business, government affairs and people’s daily lives.
Looking ahead, Tao Changhai, vice-governor of the province, noted that technological innovation, particularly in the internet, big data and cloud computing, is becoming a new driving force for the province.
“Like making an automobile, we have built infrastructure with all the necessary elements available and complete. We will adhere to supply-side structural reform in accordance with the requirements of high-quality development to promote the deep development of big data strategic action,” Tao said.