Big Data In China

China is moving towards a data revolution


Big Data is starting to have a big impact in the Asia Pacific region in the same way that it has impacted in the West. 

What is driving this is an increasing penetration of the internet across the region, with China now boasting an internet use rate of 46.03% in 2014, up 4% from 2013. The more people who are using the internet, the more data is created and more data can be analyzed.

This is helped by BAT, the name given to the group of three companies who dominate the Chinese tech scene: Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent. These companies hold the most data in the country, meaning that they are going to be at the forefront of data analysis in the country, in the same way that Facebook and Google lead the way in the US and Europe.

It is not only in the private sector that China is turning to Big Data either, with the government opening up many datasets for analysis too. Through the action framework, they are hoping to have opened up data between government departments by the end of 2018, which is a significant undertaking for a country with over 1 billion citizens.

The development of the industry in the country may also be significant in terms of the global shortage of Data Scientists too. With the best mathematics education in the world, China offers some of the best prepared students to fill the void. This, combined with an increased understanding with more wide ranging use of Big Data in society, means that there will be more candidates who could potentially excel in the role.

We also recently discussed some of the most data driven companies either growing in the country or re-introducing themselves to it. This will allow them to demonstrate best practices from the years of operating in this way and potentially improve the wider industry in the country.

There have been moves towards this already, with Alibaba restructuring in 2013 to create a data platform division of 800 to work through data solutions for them. The government has also aimed to have ’10 world leading enterprises and 500 firms focused on big data application, service and manufacturing’.

With only around half of the country regularly using the internet, there is still significant growth to be had in the country, but if initial movement is anything to go by, they will realize their target. 

University lecture small

Read next:

How Are Higher Education Institutions Using Analytics?