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China set to spend billions on national communications network

China’s MIIT will permit foreign firms to offer services in Shanghai

China’s central planning authority – the State Council – has unveiled a major new drive to strengthen the country’s position in manufacturing entitled ‘Made in China 2025’, which will include major state investment in communications infrastructure.

While the formal announcement went into little detail on how this initiative will be implemented, it did list ten  sectors that will receive attention, including tech. In a subsequent report by Reuters, however, it was claimed that $182 billion will be invested in boosting internet speeds over the next three years, and that the major national mobile operators are also looking to boost their mobile data offerings.

“Countries, both developed and developing, are reshaping their competitiveness as new technologies, including 3D printing, mobile Internet, cloud computing and new energy, emerge and China needs to urgently improve its ability to innovate and grasp these cutting-edge technologies, the plan states,” said the State Council announcement.

China needs only to look on its own doorstep to see the benefits major state investment in communications infrastructure can bring. South Korea transformed itself over a few decades thanks in part to high speed broadband available to nearly everyone. The benefits to productivity are manifest and Korea is now a world leader in mobile technology as a direct result.

“The country should also further open up its market and attract foreign investors to invest in key areas, such as the development of new information technology and bio-medicine, and foreign companies and institutions should be encouraged to set up R&D centers in China,” said the announcement, which is good news for non-Chinese vendors looking for a piece of this action.


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