Guangzhou Plans to Make Data “Key Factor of Production” in New Digital Economy


The Guangdong province capital of Guangzhou has unveiled plans to focus on the use of data as a factor of production in its efforts to drive the creation of a new digital economy.

On 2 July the Guangzhou municipal government passed the “Guangzhou Municipality Implementation Plan for the Establishment of a National Digital Economy Innovative Development Pilot Zone” (广州市建设国家数字经济创新发展试验区实施方案).

The Plan highlights the importance of data as a factor of production that will drive the growth of Guangzhou’s regional digital economy, calling for “driving open usage of data resources” as well as the “establishment of a high-efficiency circulation system for data as a factor of production.”

Guangzhou envisages the establishment of Guangzhou as a “trial zone for the circulation of digital factors of production within the Greater Bay Area of Hong Kong, Guangdong and Macau,” as well as a “national source for core digital technologies, and a new benchmark for global digital industry reforms.”

The goal for the trials will be to “form a policy and regulatory system, public services system, industry ecosystem and technology innovation system that corresponds to digital economy development within two years.”

The Plan sets the target of raising its software and information services sector revenues to over 600 billion yuan by 2022, while it also sees the output of the electronic information manufacturing sector rising to over 280 billion yuan within the same timeframe.

Six “key missions” outlined by the Plan include:

  1. Accelerating the development of new digital infrastructure.
  2. Expediting the secure and high-efficiency circulation of innovative factors of production.
  3. Improving the development of digital economy innovation systems.
  4. Raising core digital economy industry advantages.
  5. Accelerating the digital transformation of industries in key areas.
  6. Strengthening the supply of digitised public services.