The growth potential of China’s big data industry is enormous. Its scale exceeded 800 billion yuan ($113 billion) in 2019 and is expected to beat one trillion yuan by the end of 2020, according to the 2019 Report on China’s Big Data Industry.
The report, released by CICS-CERT, a research institute facilitated with the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, was arguably the most authoritative survey of the country’s big data industry.
According to the report, Chinese government has approved 283 colleges and universities to teach majors in data and big data technology. The number of big data researchers reached 80,000 in 2019, and R&D investment exceeded 55 billion yuan.
So far 17 Chinese provinces and cities have established big data administrative bureaus to take charge of the construction, management and efficient utilization of big data.
Six regions are taking the lead in China’s big data industry, namely Beijing, Shanghai, South China's Guangzhou province, East China's Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces, and Southwest China's Guizhou province.
They specialize in R&D, data storage and processing, and data application services respectively. Guiyang has hosted the China International Big Data Industry Expo five times.
As for industry integration, the internet, finance, communications and safe-protection sectors are well converged with big data. Big data is also rapidly being applied in transportation, energy and industrial production. Taking the last as an example, the scale of industrial big data had reached more than 60 billion yuan by 2019.
In November 2019, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology announced that it would select a series of pilot projects to further promote the sector.
Such projects are expected to use big data to improve the efficiency and quality of more industries including energy, automobiles, aviation, steel, shipping and chemical engineering.
The ministry is also encouraging investment and guarantee institutions to provide credit services for big data companies and build a more inclusive market for the merger and acquisitions of big data firms.
Thanks to such policy support, the revenue of the domestic big data sector is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate of 23.5 percent between 2019 and 2023, said a report from the International Data Corporation.
By 2023, the size of China’s big data market is estimated to hit $22.49 billion, the report added.