UN DESA, China to set up big data research institute to boost statistical capacity

Source:Global Times Published: 2019/6/4 22:13:40

Visitors talk with a robot during the China International Big Data Industry Expo on May 26. Photo: IC

China's National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) and the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA) will jointly found a big data research institute in China, a move that analysts said shows the UN's confidence in and recognition of China's big data industry.

The research center will be established in Hangzhou, capital of East China's Zhejiang Province, home of China's biggest e-commerce company Alibaba, the NBS and UN DESA announced on Monday, according to the Xinhua News Agency.

The center aims at strengthening statistical capacity in China and other developing countries to participate in global data innovation.

The cooperation on big data shows the UN's confidence in the big data industry in China, Liu Xingliang, director of the Beijing-based Data Center of China Internet (DCCI), told the Global Times on Tuesday. 

"China is in the leading position of big data. For example, the Big Data Industry Expo held in Guiyang [capital of Southwest China's Guizhou Province] indicates China's definite advantages in the sector," he said.

"Hangzhou is an incubator of e-commerce, an industry that has a huge data base," said Liu. 

"The research institute will benefit from Hangzhou's experience and leading technologies in data. It will also foster the internationalization of the big data industry in Hangzhou and enrich its industrial chain."

Big data will play an important role in realizing the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, especially helping developing countries without the capacity for big data development to participate in global data innovation, said Liu Zhenmin, UN undersecretary-general for economic and social affairs, according to the Xinhua report. 

The Hangzhou-based research institute will hold international training courses on big data use for developing countries, Liu said.

As a leading city in informatization and digitization, Hangzhou has an early start in the big data industry. 

A large number of big data companies have been born thanks to strong support from the local government and leading enterprises such as Alibaba, according to the Hangzhou Cloud Computing and Big Data Association.

The cooperation was announced on the 10th anniversary of the UN-China Trust Fund Project on Statistical Capacity Building, which eyed statistical knowledge transfer and sharing among developing countries in Asia.


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