By THE STATESMAN
ASIA NEWS NETWORK
New Delhi’s stand on the China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) notwithstanding, Indian software companies are participating in a big way at the expo, where China is showcasing its soft power on the global stage.
The four-day expo, which has attracted 300 companies from more than 30 countries, got off to a spectacular start on Sunday in Guiyang, the capital of Guizhou province, which for long was considered a less-developed area due to its remoteness and isolation. The region has been on a fast lane to build itself into China’s big data valley ever since it hosted the first big data expo in 2015.
The event aimed to showcase the latest scientific and technological achievements in big data worldwide, organisers said.
China to dominate cyber technology
Several companies at the expo are from countries that have joined the BRI, the signature initiative of Chinese President Xi Jinping to connect different continents through rail and road networks to promote China’s trade and commercial ties.
India has refused to join BRI on the grounds that its flagship project, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), runs through the disputed territory of Jammu and Kashmir.
However, Indian software companies including NITI Limited, Zoho Corporation and Paramatix Technologies have set up big stalls at the expo and are drawing huge crowds.
A top representative of an Indian company, who did not wish to be identified, told a group of visiting Indian journalists that China could dominate the world in the field of cyber technology in the coming decades, given the infrastructure created by it.
India, he said, currently lacked the infrastructure for big data. In fact, the Chinese were trying to woo Indian companies to set up their bases in China.
Indian companies were being offered incentives like higher income tax relief and the facility to repatriate their earnings in China.
Chinese officials say Xi has been personally very keen on the success of the annual big data expo at Guiyang, as it fits into his aim to make China the world leader in the field of big data.
The fifth edition of the big data expo began only after Xi’s congratulatory message to the participants had been read out.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Weng Chen, a |member of the Politburo of the Communist Party of |China (CPC) Central Committee, said big data was the next stage in the data revolution, which ensures sustainable development.
American cryptologist and security technologist Whitfield Diffie said big data would be everywhere and its security would affect everything – individuals, business, governance and critical infrastructure.
“Artificial intelligence can be used to produce entirely new ways of controlling computers,” he cautioned.