Shanghai all in for new-type infrastructure

2023-10-20 China Daily Editor:Li Yan

A booth promotes 6G technology during an expo in Shanghai earlier this year. (CHINA DAILY)

Three-year action plan to spur projects crucial to city's digital transformation

Shanghai will advance construction of new-type infrastructure to help accelerate its digital transformation and further elevate its core competitiveness, according to a three-year action plan (2023-26) released by the municipal government on Thursday.

By the end of 2026, a new-type infrastructure framework should be built in Shanghai as new technologies such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, 5G and digital twins should be more extensively integrated into the city, according to the plan.

Gu Jun, director of the Shanghai Municipal Development &Reform Commission, said the construction of new-type infrastructure is an important way of expanding effective investment and helping Shanghai realize timely deployment in new sectors within the digital economy.

These new infrastructure projects are vital for Shanghai's digital transformation, as they can help the city become more technologically competitive, he said at a news conference on Thursday.

Construction of the new-type infrastructure facilities in Shanghai will require 220 billion yuan ($30 billion) of initial investment, of which 120 billion yuan will be capital derived from the public.

According to the definition provided by the National Development and Reform Commission, new-type infrastructure includes information infrastructure represented by 5G and the internet of things, converged infrastructure such as that using big data and AI, as well as basic innovation facilities supporting scientific research and technological development.

Specifically, a network of 5G-Advanced — the next step of 5G evolution — and a 10-gigabit optical network, should be set up in Shanghai by 2026 to increase internet connectivity speeds and further reduce latency. Construction of high-performance computing and high-quality data infrastructure should be sped up to support the innovative applications in AI models and blockchain.

Shanghai will promote construction of special industrial 5G networks in key areas such as civil aviation, Zhang Hongtao, deputy director of Shanghai Municipal Commission of Economy and Informatization, said during Thursday's news conference. The city will also accelerate its forward-looking mapping in satellite internet and 6G communications technologies, Zhang said.

Meanwhile, the world's largest infrastructure cluster featuring the most comprehensive services system should be launched in Shanghai by 2026 to support the development of frontier industries such as chipmaking and humanoid robots. An ultra-large urban intelligent devices system covering the areas of transportation, logistics, education, medical services and eldercare should be established to nurture more new business models, the plan stated.

The action plan covers 30 major tasks and an additional 10 demonstration projects.

Construction of facilities for basic scientific research is one of the 30 major tasks to be completed, which includes building core laboratories for international ocean drilling and independently developed controllable intelligent computing facilities.

While basic scientific research venues such as the Shanghai Synchrotron Radiation Facility, which provides powerful X-ray beams for research and industrial development in the disciplines of biology, physics and material sciences, have opened green channels for technology companies, other similar facilities in Shanghai will be available to companies to support their innovation plans, said Peng Song, executive deputy-director of the Shanghai Science and Technology Innovation Promotion Office.

The Shanghai Data Exchange should introduce new businesses covering industrial data, government procurement and international purchases. Intelligent devices in Shanghai should be connected more conveniently and efficiently. To serve that goal, more than 20 million IoT neuron nodes should be built in Shanghai by 2026, according to the plan.

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