China wants to use supercomputing to accelerate digital transformation

China's national supercomputing framework will pull together computing resources across the country to drive the development of emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence.
Written by Eileen Yu, Senior Contributing Editor
Shanghai China Smart City Network
Image: Getty Images/AerialPerspective Images

China is looking to establish a national supercomputing framework to drive its digital plans and the development of emerging technologies, including artificial intelligence (AI).

Expected to be ready by the end of 2025, the framework is expected to help pull together computing resources across the country and support local development efforts. The aim is to establish a more coordinated system, so compute capacity can be better distributed to where it is needed most, according to local media reports citing the Ministry of Science and Technology. 

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The framework will be critical in helping to support the emergence of big data, AI, and other emerging technologies that require computing power, the ministry said. 

A national framework will help China to resolve key challenges, such as an uneven distribution of computing power, lack of standardisation, and lack of incentives to create and adopt locally developed software, reported state-owned newspaper China Daily

The national infrastructure will connect all supercomputing centres across the country and provide an integrated computing services platform, according to a report by Yicai Global, an English news service by Yicai Media Group, which is part of state-owned Chinese media conglomerate, Shanghai Media Group. 

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It also will play a role in driving China's digital roadmap, which lays out the government's plans to boost interconnectivity and drive digital technology innovation. First unveiled in February, the "digital China" strategy comprises 13 targets, which are slated for completion in 2025 and 2035, spanning various areas, including digital infrastructure, data resources, and digital governance.  

The roadmap also reaffirmed the need to remove barriers and accelerate the construction of infrastructures, such as 5G and Internet of Things (IoT) networks, said Wu Lianfeng, IDC China's vice president and chief research analyst. In a report published last month, Wu said the digital plan proposed the aggregation and utilisation of data, alongside the need to establish data governance and policies. 

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Last September, China unveiled plans to create 50 more high-tech zones by 2030 to fuel GDP and achieve "breakthroughs" in quantum computing and 5G communications. There are currently 173 high-tech zones across the country, with 84 established in the last decade alone. The target is to push this number to 220 by the end of the government's 14th Five-Year Plan in 2025, according to the Ministry of Science and Technology.

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