News and Views on Tibet

Lhasa to become China’s gateway to South Asia under BRI

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Workers at the construction site of Ningsua's date centre on March 8,2020 (Photo- Global Times)
Workers at the construction site of Ningsua's date centre on March 8,2020 (Photo- Global Times)

By Choekyi Lhamo

DHARAMSHALA, June 8: China’s 645,000-square-meter data facility in Lhasa for data exchange between China and its neighbouring South Asian countries, has completed its first phase of construction. Tech Crunch reported that the pilot operation of the computing and data centre announced the new development on Sunday. Lhasa, the capital of independent Tibet, is set to become the main gateway through which China explores its controversial global infrastructure project, Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

“The three phases of the project will invest 2.8 billion yuan, 3 billion yuan, and 6 billion yuan respectively. After completion, they will provide approximately 70,000 cabinets. The annual revenue is expected to reach 10 billion yuan,” Chinese state media Xinhua reported. Developed by the private tech firm, Ningsuan Technologies, it is currently the highest cloud computing data centre in the world.

The Tibetan plateau occupied by PLA forces in 1959, is considered the most strategic regions for China as it shares its border with other South Asian countries like India, Nepal, Bangladesh, and other countries that are part of BRI. The Tibet-headquartered company Ningsuan with centres in Beijing and Nanjing will become the powerhouse of increasing trade and investment activity.

“The high reliability, cost-effective, large-scale and energy-saving international offshore data center in Lhasa is now officially pre-open to global business partners and potential customers,” said Hu Xiao, General Manager of Ningsuan.

Construction of the Lhasa data centre began in 2017 and is scheduled for completion around 2025 or 2026, a grand investment that will total almost 12 billion yuan or $1.69 billion. The cloud facility is estimated to generate 10 billion Yuan in revenue each year when it goes into full operation. Major Chinese multinational company, Alibaba, also sealed an agreement in 2018 with the growing computing business in Tibet which will magnify industries that span from electricity, finance, national security, government affairs, public security to cyberspace.


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