The central government is planning to pump more than 10 trillion yuan (US$1.4 trillion) from now until 2025 into the economy through the roll-out of “new infrastructure” – which includes a wide range of technology, from next-generation wireless networks to artificial intelligence (AI). The master plan, which will be endorsed by the NPC this weekend, calls on urban governments and private hi-tech giants like Huawei Technologies to help lay 5G wireless networks, install cameras and sensors, and develop AI software that will underpin autonomous driving to automated factories and mass surveillance. SCMP.
Guangdong is already well ahead of the plan. As covered previously, the province has begun work on eight of 10 planned new industrial parks, which will be used for experimentation and development of new technologies. Basically, these involve the creation of products and services that run on AI-driven computing power stored in data centers and distributed via 5G networks. Think autonomous cars and robotaxis, smart washing machines and fridges, intelligent buildings, cutting-edge medical devices, and so on.
The new plan is not superseding a plan for development of “China’s Silicon Valley” in the Greater bay Area, known as the GBA Technology Corridor. It is adding to it. Many of these new parks will be built in areas that are already concentrating resources for the region’s high-tech development. They will feed off the universities and in-house R&D teams of the leading cities. But some are starting from scratch in less-developed areas such as Huizhou.
The plan clearly has gained urgency with the revival of the US-China “tech war”, after Huawei was cut off from global chip supplies recently, with the US government going so far as to restrict Taiwanese foundry TSMC from doing business with Huawei. It apparently has the blessing of President Xi Jinping. How US-based investors and tech companies will be able to participate in the plan remains to be seen.