Tibet's Massive Data Center Begins Pilot Operation

By Ryan Gandolfo, June 11, 2020

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The ‘roof of the world’ is fittingly home to the world’s highest data center.

On Sunday, an announcement from the central government’s official website said that Tibet’s cloud computing and data center has begun pilot operations after completing its first construction phase.

Image via QQ News

Based in the capital city of Lhasa, the 645,000-square-meter center is being developed by Ningsuan Technologies and first started construction in 2017. The facility is scheduled to finish by 2025 or 2026, Technode reports.

The data center will play a key role in China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), an ambitious development project which spans nearly 70 countries and covers 65% of the world’s population. Ningsuan’s Lhasa-based data center is expected to become a bridge to South Asian countries as trade and investment between China and other BRI countries increases.

The total investment into the new facility is slated to be RMB11.8 billion, with a forecasted RMB10 billion in revenue each year once it’s fully operational. 

China has been heavily invested in developing data centers and cloud computing facilities in recent years. During the Two Sessions meetings last month, Guiyang mayor Chen Yan said a new urban area in Guizhou plans to become one of the largest big data clusters in the world over the next few years. “This year, a string of data centers, including that of Apple’s iCloud and tech giant Huawei Technologies’ Co, will be completed in the new area” said Chen, as cited by China Daily. “Data centers, as the basic infrastructure of cloud computing, are an indispensable part of the big data industry chain. It is also a new infrastructure that is supported by the country currently.”

[Cover image via 西藏主要新闻]

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