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China's cloud computing chain ready

By Zhao Qian (Global Times)

08:53, June 06, 2013

Visitors walk past a board at the exhibition area of cloud computing service during the 5th China Cloud Computing Conference in Beijing, capital of China, June 5, 2013. The conference kicked off on June 5. (Xinhua/Liu Xin)

The industry chain for China's cloud computing has already been set up, but still faces challenges including slow broadband speed and the lack of a certification system for market players, senior experts said at the 5th China Cloud Computing Conference Wednesday.

"Cloud computing is developing fast domestically, covering a whole chain of cloud data centers, broad band usage, software services and terminal installations," Wu Jichuan, honorary director of the Chinese Institute of Electronics, said at the conference.

The computing technology has possible applications in various areas including logistics, medical care, and e-­commerce, and has already become a growth stimulus for many industries.

"Cloud computing, with more and more mature business models, has already become a growth point for the country's telecommunications industry," Liu Lihua, vice-­minister of the Industry and Information Technology, said at the conference.

Even though cloud computing has bright growth prospects, Wu noted that he has encountered some challenges including slow broadband speed, poor infrastructure construction and imperfect legislation, as well as user concerns about the security of their personal information.

Fast broadband speed and massive data are the basis for cloud computing services, so current slow network speeds are one of the biggest obstacles for China's cloud computing development, Li Deyi of the Chinese Academy of Engineering said at the conference.

"It is hard to find a city in China that can offer online services that never drop the connection to the Internet," Li noted.

Over half of the 150 million Internet users tracked by the Data Center of China Internet complained that their actual network speed was much lower than the speed promised by operators, according to a report released by the center in November 2012.

Since then, there have been numerous media reports accusing network companies of cheating customers.

In addition to the technological challenges, more legal and political regulations are needed for the development of cloud computing in China.

To ease consumer concerns about their personal information security, Wu of the Chinese Institute of Electronics said there is an urgent need for security regulations and laws that clarify information owners' interests and service providers' responsibilities.

The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) will set up a certification mechanism for market players and release standards for the quality and assessment of cloud computing services, said Qi Chengyuan, general director of the High-Tech Industry Department of the NDRC.

"China needs to set up a comprehensive certification mechanism for the market players, who are currently competing to enter the cloud computing sector," Huang Meng, an analyst at Internet consultancy Analysys International, told the Global Times Wednesday.

Cloud computing is just one part of the Internet sector, and specific guidelines for the cloud computing sector are needed, Huang said.

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