Yang Jie, Chairman of China Mobile [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]
As data becomes a key production factor in the digital economy, data centers remain the central component for receiving, processing, storing and forwarding information. As China continues to digitalize, data center energy consumption and CO2 emissions are also increasing.
How can digital development, energy saving and emission reduction grow together? Yang Jie, chairman of China Mobile and a member of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, shared his proposals for this year’s two sessions with the China Daily website in a written interview.
Yang proposed setting up a more scientific data center carbon emission assessment system, accelerating the process of data center energy consumption breakdown, promoting the assessment of data center energy consumption effectiveness, and improving the integration of digital and green development.
Last year, the 20th CPC National Congress outlined strategic plans for building China into a cyber power, and the Central Economic Work Conference proposed the vigorous development of the digital economy, opening up new opportunities for the industry.
China Mobile, as one of the country’s leading telecom operators, had opened more than 1.28 million 5G base stations by the end of 2022, providing steady coverage across the country in both urban and rural areas.
According to Yang, the company will further deepen the construction of its 5G network in 2023 and plans to build more than 300,000 5G base stations.
China Mobile also reduced more than 10 percent of its energy consumption and carbon emissions intensity over the past year. It has also helped society as a whole to reduce its carbon emissions by 260 million tons by 2022, the chairman said.
Yang added that the company has contributed to the digitization of government functions by providing information solutions on public security, justice, emergency response and water conservation to nearly 200 cities in 27 provinces.
China Mobile has also provided services to more than 20 million small and medium-sized enterprises in 2022, with information product packages helping 5 million SMEs in their digital transformation.
Besides serving the domestic market, China Mobile also actively participates in digital infrastructure construction projects along the Belt and Road. Its data centers are located in the UK, Germany, Singapore, Hong Kong SAR and other locations around the world, helping Chinese automotive companies like BYD to expand overseas.
In addition, China Mobile increased the Internet access rate for primary and secondary schools to 99.7 percent in 2022, benefiting 106,000 schools. Together with the Ministry of Education, the company has launched 5G cloud exam centers offering more than 1.6 million exams in 500 schools. During the pandemic, the company provided online services for 2.11 million online courses in 310 cities, supporting the education of 730 million people.
At this year’s two sessions, the chairman also proposed formulating a national development plan for programming education for elementary and junior high school students, gradually incorporating programming into the curriculum of elementary and junior high schools and the entrance exams for high schools and universities.
He believes that the IT skills of the group born after 2010 will determine the overall level of social innovation, and the popularization of basic programming education will help lay a solid foundation for high-skilled talent in the new era.