China’s Big Data hub looks at direct air link with India’s Silicon Valley

A direct air link between Bengaluru and,China‘s Big Data valley as it is popularly known,to further growing partnership in the knowledge sector could be the next big thing in Sino-Indian ties.High-ranking Chinese officials,in fact,are considering introducing direct flights to not just Bengaluru but also Delhi.

Guiyang is the capital of the strikingly beautiful Guizhou province in the relatively underdeveloped south-west China.The province has turned into a worldwide Big Data hub with the government providing incentives like rent-free space for foreign companies to set up office there.The Indian government,too,is in favour of strengthening India‘s presence in Guizhou as cooperation in the IT sector is one way of reducing its mounting trade deficit with China.

"We are talking to the Chinese ambassador to India Luo Zhaouhui for direct connection to Bengaluru with which we are seeking cooperation in IT and related industries,”says Guizhou‘s propaganda minister Mu Degui in an interaction with visiting Indian journalists.

India‘s launched an IT corridor in Guiyang in May this year,an initiative backed by the government to ensure more cooperation with China in the IT-enabled services sector.As India‘s ambassador to China had then said,the two countries are looking at marrying together the requirements of Chinese companies with the capabilities of Indian IT service providers.

One of the fastest growing provinces of China,Guizhou has secured investments worth billions of dollars from multinationals like Apple,Foxconn,,and Lenovo,not least because of its climate which–at an average of 15 degree Celsius throughout the year–offers natural cooling.

While India‘s trade with China in calendar year 2017 amounted to$84 billion,its trade deficit of around$55 billion remains one of the most niggling issues in bilateral relations.One way of addressing it could be to encourage more Indian IT companies to work with the Chinese firms who are working actively in Guiyang in Big Data and.

An Indian company in May this year also set up an artificial intelligence-enabled platform called Sino-Indian Digital Collaboration Plaza(SIDCOP).As Bambawale says,this will help in bringing together the IT requirements of Chinese companies,particularly in Guiyang,with Indian companies which have solutions to offer.

Around 25,000 Indian IT professionals are currently in China providing solutions to Chinese companies.This number is expected to grow significantly in the next few years with Guiyang,despite it being located far away from the developed eastern region of China,likely to attract more and more Indian IT service providers.One big incentive for working in Guizhou might be that Guizhou,as Mu says,has a very high threshold for polluting industries.

Indian officials say that with the political climate having improved significantly since January this year,and as evident from the informal in April,this might just be the best time to focus on commercial ties with China.

While Guizhou is at the heart of China‘s attempts to diversify its economy,with more focus on services,Beijing and the provincial government are also looking at tourism to attract more international visitors.The mountainous province is dotted with scenic waterfalls and caves.The province is also home to the largest single-dish radio telescope in the world which is meant to showcase China‘s prowess in radio astronomy.

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