BEIJING, April 22 (Xinhua) -- China has recently defined the meaning of "new infrastructure" with an aim to better beef up the country’s economic development.
Wu Hao, an official with the National Development and Reform Commission, the country's top economic planner, said on a regular press conference on April 20 that new infrastructure mainly includes information infrastructure, converged infrastructure, and innovative infrastructure.
Industrial experts predict about 1 trillion yuan of investment will be injected into new infrastructure this year.
-- New infrastructure consists of information, convergence, and innovation
New infrastructure is guided by new development concepts, driven by technological innovation, based on information networks, and oriented to high-quality development needs, which is viewed as an infrastructure system that offers services such as digital transformation, intelligent upgrades, and integrated innovation, said Wu.
Information infrastructure mainly refers to the infrastructure generated based on the evolution of a new generation of information technology. That includes communication network infrastructure represented by 5G, IoT, industrial internet, and satellite internet, new technology infrastructure represented by AI, cloud computing, and blockchain, and computing infrastructure represented by data centers and intelligent computing centers.
Converged infrastructure refers primarily to the in-depth application of internet, big data, AI and other technologies to support the transformation and upgrading of traditional infrastructure, and then form converged infrastructure, which includes intelligent transportation infrastructure and smart energy infrastructure.
Innovative infrastructure mainly refers to infrastructure with public welfare attributes that supports scientific research, technological development, and product development, such as major science and technology infrastructure, science and education infrastructure, and industrial technology innovation infrastructure.
Wu also noted that with technological revolution and industrial transformation, the connotation and extension of new infrastructure are not static and the NDRC will continue to follow up and study in the future.
-- China mulls guidelines on propelling new infrastructure development
With the joint efforts of multiple parties, new infrastructure is becoming a major engine for China's development.
Since the beginning of March this year, the NDRC, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), and other departments have repeatedly mentioned the need to accelerate the construction of new infrastructure such as 5G.
According to Wu, the country will strengthen the top-level design and mull over guidelines to further foster the development of new infrastructure.
Efforts will be made to optimize policy environment, Wu noted, adding that the country will focus on enhancing the quality and efficiency of long-term supply of new infrastructure, and revise access rules that are conducive to the sustained, healthy development of emerging industries.
Besides, relevant authorities should do a good job in overall coordination and project construction, such as speeding up 5G network deployment, optimizing and upgrading optical fiber broadband networks, and accelerating the construction of national integrated big data center, and push for the "digital +" and "intelligent+" upgrading of traditional infrastructure.
At the same time, a forward-thinking approach should be adopted in building innovative infrastructure.
Wu Yaping, a fellow with the Investment Research Institute of the Academy of Macroeconomic Research, pointed out that new infrastructure development-related planning should be target-oriented and problem-centric, define the basic ideas and roadmap for the development of new infrastructure, clarify the goals, tasks and priorities of new infrastructure development, propose major innovation projects, construction projects and reform measures, and bring forward relevant policies and measures in fields such as investment, taxation, finance and talent.
-- Enterprises scramble to increase investment in new infrastructure
Chinese enterprises have rushed to speed up the layout of new infrastructure.
China Mobile, one of the country's leading telecommunication operators, said that it will greatly increase 5G capital expenditure to about 100 billion yuan in 2020, a substantial increase from the company's 5G-related investment of 24 billion yuan in 2019.
On April 20, Alibaba's cloud computing branch also announced a plan to ramp up investment in new infrastructure.
According to the announcement, it would invest 200 billion yuan (about 28 billion U.S. dollars) in the research and development of core technologies such as cloud operating system, servers, chips and networks within three years. (Edited by Yang Yifan with Xinhua Silk Road, yangyifan@Xinhua.org)