Shanghai has launched a new development plan for its free-trade zone that focuses on the construction of 5G networks, internet of things (IoT) connectivity, edge computing and improved data hubs, the South China Morning Post reports.
It comes as the country looks to digital infrastructure to help recover from the coronavirus slowdown and to retool its economy for the future.
Under five-year telecoms infrastructure guidelines issued last week, authorities in Shanghai will promote the construction of 5G networks, optical fibre broadband, IoT and industrial internet applications, and speed up the building of data hubs and edge computing networks in the Lingang New Area of the Shanghai Free Trade Zone.
The city’s mayor said in January that Shanghai expects to have full 5G coverage by the end of the year.
Lingang – home to Tesla’s first factory outside the United States – is expected to lead the city’s effort to become a “new generation” information and communication hub within the Asia-Pacific region.
China’s Government is keen to see much wider use of digital infrastructure backed by emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence. The coronavirus outbreak has already accelerated adoption of some of these technologies, including telemedicine, online education and unmanned deliveries.
The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), which is in charge of China’s macroeconomic planning, has said that new infrastructure in the country will include 5G, IoT, the industrial internet, cloud computing and blockchain, AI and big data applications, as well as supportive facilities for scientific and technology research.
China plans to draw up nationwide guidelines for the development of this new infrastructure and will promote a favourable environment, according to Wu Hao, head of the department of hi-tech industry at the NDRC.
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