…the new “south-facing, north-linking, east-integrating, and west-merging” pattern of all-around opening and development is taking shape.


Securities Daily, “Accelerate Development of the Digital Economy; Rationalize the Layout of New Type Infrastructure,” April 8, 2022

The “Digital Gulf of Tonkin (Beibu Gulf) Construction Plan” was recently launched as one of three developmental directions of the updated 14th Five-Year Implementation Plan for the Beibu Gulf Urban Cluster. The Construction Plan will be compiled and implemented by the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC), National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), and Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) to accelerate development of China’s digital economy by rationalizing the layout and construction of supporting New Type Infrastructure (NTI) across southwest and southeast China.

The Digital Beibu Gulf Plan is designed to facilitate growth of China’s digital economy by constructing an ocean exit and digital hub that links southwest China to ASEAN, in effect linking the two components of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), land (Silk Road Economic Belt) and maritime (21st-Century Maritime Silk Road).

The Digital Beibu Gulf will promote the interconnection of transportation facilities (Sec 4) and the accelerated development of China’s digital economy [Ch 16] in line with the Central Economic Work Conference’s reaffirmation of national guidance for “in-advance” design and construction of New Type Infrastructure.

The term Digital China does not appear in the NDRC notification or Digital Beibu Plan itself, but Digital China language infuses both. New Type Infrastructure categories, subcategories, and projects specifically highlighted in the plan include: 5G, Internet of Things, data centers, the construction of a new national-level Internet backbone direct connection point at Nanning, and a dedicated channel for international Internet data in Hainan.

Another focus of the Digital Beibu Gulf Plan is the digital transformation of the petrochemical, steel, and equipment industries in the Beibu Gulf urban cluster through a cloud-based smart solution for data 上云用数赋智.

Also noted: expanding business applications for Smart Ports and Smart Shipping, promoting the China-ASEAN Digital Economy Industrial Park, advancing the Hainan Free Trade Port 链上海南 Blockchain Pilot Zone, and the Western Guangdong Data Valley 粤西数谷 Big Data Ind Park. And more…