2019 International Big Data Industry Expo press conference held in Beijing

BEIJING, Feb. 28, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Zhao Deming, Secretary of Guiyang Municipal Party Committee, says the 2019 International Big Data Industry Expo in Guiyang, Guizhou Province will be a "sumptuous feast at which elite intellectuals and industry trailblazers gather to challenge each other with insights and ideas, catalyzing innovation and lighting up the road ahead."

On Monday (25 February) in Beijing, Zhao spoke at a press conference to outline and promote this year's event which will be held in Guizhou's provincial capital from 26 to 29 May. "Our exposition is about frontier technologies and innovations, and their adoption by business and industry," he said. "We're going to hold abundant events and activities. Organization is proceeding smoothly."

Last year's winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics Paul Romer, who is also a former World Bank chief economist, is one prominent intellectual who has already signed up to deliver a keynote speech. Another is Whitfield Diffie, a pioneer in public-key cryptography, who in 2015 was awarded the prestigious Turing Award, often called the Nobel Prize of computing.

Forums and panel discussions will be held throughout the expo on critical subjects in the field of big data, including 5G telecoms, blockchain, industrial internet, artificial intelligence, the city of the future, and e-commerce and poverty alleviation.

Guiyang's first deputy mayor Xu Hao, who chaired the Beijing press conference, said this year's big event will be "richer in content and more diverse in form" than previous years. The theme for 2019, he added, will be: innovation and the future.

"The Internet and big data are changing people's lives at greater speed than ever," said Xu. "So this year we're focusing on humans amid advancing digitalisation and artificial intelligence, and what life will look like in the world of tomorrow."

Among more than 400 exhibitors who will be putting on displays this year, 40 percent are foreign. Domestic companies include heavyweights such as Alibaba, Tencent, Huawei and Qihoo 360. Participants from overseas will include Google, Qualcomm, NTT Data and Seagate Technology. The organizers are expecting over 100,000 visitors over the expo's four days.

After exhibition displays and speaking events, a third attraction at the Guiyang expo will be four or five competitions. One such contest, says Xu, will be a race for driverless cars. Another will be for internet security; pitting hackers against each other in a contest to exploit vulnerabilities in a given cyber security system.

Guiyang's annual International Big Data Industry Expo was the first of its kind in China when inaugurated in 2015. In addition to Guizhou Provincial People's Government, it is also hosted by national government super-ministries: the National Development and Reform Commission, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and the State Internet Information Office. In its second year 2016, it was upgraded in importance to a national level event.

Guiyang itself, meanwhile, is now booming as the nation's big data pilot zone, taking advantage of its cool mountain climate, abundant hydroelectric power and good network infrastructure. Apple, Qualcomm, Huawei, Tencent, Alibaba and Foxconn have all built cloud computing and big data centers there.

"Big data" refers to the use of algorithms and artificial intelligence to spot useful patterns in the increasingly vast amounts of data thrown out by things like internet searches, mobile phones, e-commerce and, more recently, the "internet of things".

As Xu Hao points out, China's comparative advantage in big data is its sheer "big-ness", or size; 1.4 billion people using over three times as many smart phones as America's population of 330 million. Mobile payment platforms such as Alipay and WeChat are so advanced that many citizens live life almost entirely without cash.

Says Xu, China's contribution to this fast-growing industry of the future will be threefold: to "share in the building of a new digital home on earth; share in the creation a new era of digital civilization; and share in the enjoyment of the digital life of tomorrow."

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