The Beijing International Big Data Exchange, which was set up in the capital city on Wednesday with a registered capital of 200 million yuan ($30.46 million), is expected to play a key role in China's digital economy promotion efforts and facilitate more data-based transactions in the country.
Established by Beijing Financial Holdings Group and government agencies like the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Economy and Information Technology, the exchange will become critical infrastructure for data security, data operations and cross-border data transactions.
"It will play an important role in cultivating a sound data exchange market to unleash the value of data and drive digital economy. It will be first applied in Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei province and expanded nationwide and globally later," said Yin Yong, vice-mayor of Beijing.
A data transaction system using blockchain and security computing technology was also launched, which will offer a series of services including data cleaning and data evaluation.
Fan Wenzhong, Party secretary and chairman of Beijing Financial Holdings Group, said: "The new exchange will strive to make the purchase and use of data more standardized and safer."
The digital economy is a key focus for China in the 14th Five-Year Plan period (2021-25). Core industrial output is expected to account for 10 percent of the country's GDP by 2025.
China's digital trade has grown rapidly in the last few years. According to the Ministry of Commerce, the country's digital trade, including exports and imports, surged by 6.7 percent to $203.6 billion in 2019, accounting for 26 percent of the total service trade volume.
"In this increasingly digital era of globalization, countries led by the US are striving to seize the high ground of digital trade," said Liu Yingkui, head of international trade at the Academy of China Council for the Promotion of International Trade.
According to a report published by global consultancy firm McKinsey&Co, large gaps exist between a handful of leading countries and the rest of the world. The report ranked 139 countries on the basis of inflows and outflows of goods, services, finance, people and data. Singapore led the rankings, followed by the Netherlands, the United States and Germany.
China has grown more connected, reaching seventh place globally, but advanced economies in general remain more connected than developing countries.
Liu said China has accumulated a huge amount of data and data streams in a group of areas, including trans-border e-commerce and superfast 5G development. These are valuable foundations for the development of the digital economy.
"Once more companies join, the platform can leverage data and artificial intelligence to optimize industrial software and fill the gaps in industrial development with developed countries," he said.