Serious business

A new business hub: Guian, Guiyang

Take a peek at Guizhou Province's hub for big data and cloud services. Words by JUSTIN HEIFETZ, illustration by REMKO HEEMSKERK

Guian New Area is a sprawling economic zone on the fringes of Guiyang, the capital of southwest China’s Guizhou province. The Chinese government has mostly dedicated the nearly 1,800-square-kilometre district to data storage.

A stop on the high-speed rail line between Shanghai and Kunming, the new area features a base for big data and cloud services, which has the capacity for 300,000 servers. China’s top three telecoms – China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom – and tech companies Huawei and Foxconn are building their database centres here. Earlier this year, Apple shifted its Chinese iCloud to Guian in partnership with government-run Guizhou-Cloud Big Data. Meanwhile, Chinese tech giants Alibaba and Tencent have partnered with the government to help build data infrastructure in the new area.

Guian has an industrial manufacturing area spanning about 20 square kilometres and a free trade zone. Manufacturing is mostly focused on computer technology, transportation and medical equipment. US chipmaker Qualcomm has partnered with the new area and plans to start producing advanced chipsets for servers next year.

To attract talent to Guian, investors have poured US$4.6 billion into Huaxi University Town, which will eventually house 12 universities. The goal is to form an entrepreneurial ecosystem involving universities, companies and the government.

Guian Big Data Industrial Base

Guian New Area, Guizhou,
Liu Xu/Xinhua/Newscom

At the core of the Guian Electronic Information Industrial Park, this base is being built to store data for the country’s major telecoms and tech giants.

Foxconn Green Industrial Park

Guian New Area, Guizhou
Liu Xu/Xinhua/Newscom

Tech giant Foxconn’s energy-efficient campus hosts the company’s factories, offices and data, as well as facilities for employees like parks, recreation centres and housing.   

Beidouwan Virtual Reality Town

Guian New Area, Guizhou,
Imaginechina

This area in Guian focuses on augmented and virtual reality technologies. It will encompass research, development and manufacturing, and has a VR centre for tourists. 

Guian Beidouwan New Century Hotel

Guian New Area, Guizhou

This high-end hotel is centrally located in the new area, just along the scenic Beidou Lake. It features plentiful meeting facilities, tennis courts and a pool.

Cathay Dragon flies to Kunming from Hong Kong seven times a week

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