Establishing a national regulatory body will provide strong impetus, experts say
China's plan to establish a national data bureau is expected to give full play to the value of data resources, quicken the building of basic systems for data and inject strong impetus into the digital economy, experts said on Wednesday.
Collecting, processing and making good use of data, which is regarded as a new type of production factor, is of great significance to facilitating the development of the big data and artificial intelligence industries, they added.
The establishment of a national data bureau will be conducive to building a unified domestic data elements market, bolstering the circulation and transaction of data, and laying a solid foundation for the high-quality development of the digital economy.
Ouyang Rihui, assistant dean of the Central University of Finance and Economics’ China Center for Internet Economy Research
They made the comments as a reform plan for creating a new regulator for data governance was submitted to the National People's Congress, China's top legislature, on Tuesday for deliberation. The proposed national data bureau will coordinate the integration, sharing, development and application of data resources, according to the plan.
The proposed bureau, to be administered by the National Development and Reform Commission, will be responsible for advancing the development of data-related fundamental institutions and pushing forward the planning and building of a digital China, the digital economy and a digital society.
The proposal came shortly after China rolled out a plan for the overall layout of the country's digital development.
The country will take solid steps to build digital infrastructure and data resource systems, and to promote the in-depth integration of digital technologies with the economy, politics, culture, society and ecology, according to a plan jointly released by the Communist Party of China Central Committee and the State Council, China's Cabinet, on Feb 27.
The plan stated that important progress will be made in the construction of a digital China by 2025, with effective interconnectivity in digital infrastructure, a significantly improved digital economy, and major breakthroughs achieved in digital technology innovation.
Establishing the bureau is in accordance with China's intensified efforts to promote digital development, and it demonstrates that the country places great emphasis on accelerating the construction of basic systems for data, said Pan Helin, co-director of the Digital Economy and Financial Innovation Research Center at Zhejiang University's International Business School.
Ouyang Rihui, assistant dean of the China Center for Internet Economy Research at the Central University of Finance and Economics, said, "The establishment of a national data bureau will be conducive to building a unified domestic data elements market, bolstering the circulation and transaction of data, and laying a solid foundation for the high-quality development of the digital economy."
He said that data elements — the basic units of information that have a unique meaning — have been rapidly integrated into various areas like production, circulation, consumption and social services.
China unveiled 20 key measures in December to build basic systems for data and put data resources to better use.
The country's basic systems for data will involve the establishment of a data property rights system, a circulation and trading system, a revenue distribution system and a security governance system.
Pan said the latest move will help improve the country's data trading mechanism and bring new development opportunities to some basic industries related to big data, adding that blockchain technology could be leveraged to further confirm data resource ownership, which is a prerequisite for data circulation and transactions.
Furthermore, Pan said with expanding transactions involving data elements, there will be surging demand for computing infrastructure like computing hubs and data centers, and domestically produced servers, chips and operating systems.
Data from the National Industrial Information Security Development Research Center showed that the revenue of China's data elements market is projected to rise from 81.5 billion yuan ($11.7 billion) in 2021 to 198.9 billion yuan in 2025, with the compound annual growth rate surpassing 25 percent during the 14th Five-Year Plan period (2021-25).