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Beijing's Cloud Valley Leaping Forward

Inclusion of Cloud Computing in Five-Year Plan Drives Development

As dynamic as Shanghai appears to the first-time visitor, Beijing is still the place to be in China. This is as true with Cloud Computing as anything.

Outstripped in overall GDP by the financial centers of Hong Kong and Shanghai to the south, the austere northern capital city remains the center of industrial influence in China. State-owned enterprise, funded in Beijing, remains the big hammer in building out the country's IT infrastructure.

With Cloud Computing, Beijing's decision makers have dubbed a 20-year tech park on the city's southeast outskirts as the new "Cloud Valley" of China. Formally known as the Beijing Economic and Technological Development Zone, the area encompasses about 15 square miles and is located in Yizhuang, newly dubbed as "e-town."

Cloud Valley serves as a complementary book-end to the "Silicon Valley" in Beijing's northwest Zhongguancun suburb, an area also known as the Z-Park.

Recent, Emphatic Reports
A number of recent reports have emerged about the Cloud Valley. It can be difficult to divine precisely what is going on, as things get a bit lost in translation. But, long story short, there are billions of dollars being invested here and new companies are moving in. A lot of activity is being driven by the inclusion of Cloud Computing in China's 12th Five-Year plan, which was released in March.

Additionally, "Cloud Computing as a strategic focus on emerging industries, has been included in the information industry in Beijing's ‘second five' plan," according to Jiang Guangzhi, the Beijing Municipal Commission's Software and Information Services Director, in a recent report. "Planning objectives (state that by) 2015, Beijing Cloud Computing-related industry revenue will reach 200 billion yuan (about $30 billion)," he said.

Other reports indicate Cloud-driven business creation of more than 1 trillion yuan (about $150 billion) by next year.

Desktop Cloud apps, thin clients, cloud storage and distributed datacenters are all part of conversations among companies and agencies who have already adopted Cloud Computing, as they work at what locals call "Beijing speed."

"We recently launched a full range Cloud servers, and (are already) achieving competitive advantage in the market," according to a report on Wei Yiqun, CEO of Super Cloud Technology Co., a server manufacturing company that's set up in Cloud Valley. "The future will be built here (on) cloud servers. This is Asia's largest production base, and we can promote the related supporting industries, such as motherboards, molds, chassis, backplanes, etc."

"(With) the chips, display, server, thin client, container datacenters, Cloud operating system, (and) project-specific applications, (we have) formed a very complete industry chain," according to Wei.

"Beijing is an international metropolis. Many large companies are headquartered (here)...and in the future, Beijing will be the leading city in China's cloud computing industry," he added.

More Stories By Roger Strukhoff

Roger Strukhoff (@IoT2040) is Executive Director of the Tau Institute for Global ICT Research, with offices in Illinois and Manila. He is Conference Chair of @CloudExpo & @ThingsExpo, and Editor of SYS-CON Media's CloudComputing BigData & IoT Journals. He holds a BA from Knox College & conducted MBA studies at CSU-East Bay.