A "time tunnel" effect is displayed at Guizhou province's big data demonstration center in Guiyang.
Guizhou province takes advantage of new technology to develop economy, boost employment and combat poverty
Guizhou in Southwest China struggled with unemployment and poverty before big data created a big future for the province.[Special coverage]
Nestled in a mountainous region, it has been transformed in the past three years into an innovation hub as major global companies, such as Apple Inc, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd and Hyundai Motor Group, flocked to the area.
"Big data has helped relieve local poverty as it has brought huge opportunities to impoverished areas and created jobs at the same time," said Jing Yaping, deputy director of the bureau responsible for Guizhou province's big data development.
Innovation and cutting-edge technology has fueled economic growth across China with big data playing a crucial role.
This transformation is in line with General Secretary Xi Jinping's remarks during the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China.
Xi emphasized that innovation is the primary force driving development.
"We will move Chinese industries up to the medium-high end of the global value chain, and foster a number of world-class advanced manufacturing clusters," he said.
Xi called for more efforts to develop advanced manufacturing, promote further integration of the internet, big data and artificial intelligence with the real economy.
Guizhou has certainly adopted this approach to achieve rapid growth.
Official data showed the industrial output of large-scale digital information manufacturing in the province was at 5.26 billion yuan (0 million) in the first half of this year, a jump of 64 percent compared to 2016.
It was first time the sector had contributed double-digit numbers to industrial growth.
"In Guizhou, big data has become the new growth engine for economic transformation," said Qin Rupei, executive vice-governor of Guizhou, and a delegate at the Congress.
Figures also revealed that software and IT services produced revenue of 15.59 billion yuan in the first half of 2017, a 36.4 percent increase year-on-year.
"Thanks to big data, Guizhou has been able to rejuvenate itself," Jing, of the big data bureau, said.
An hour's drive out of the provincial capital of Guiyang is Guian New Area, a 1,795-square-kilometer industrial technology park, packed with blue-chip brands.
Hyundai is one of the latest big names to open a big data center there. The South Korea-based automotive company plans to collate and analyze massive data for its advanced automated vehicles. It will also use the information for research and development.
"Hyundai Motor's knowhow in big data analysis, coupled with Guizhou province's push into (the sector), will surely accelerate development in connected car technologies," Hwang Seung-ho, executive vice-president and head of the auto intelligence division at Hyundai, told the company's website.
Earlier this year, China Daily reported that more than 400 companies in the big data industry had set up in Guian New Area, including Apple, Microsoft, Alibaba, Tencent Holdings Ltd and Huawei Technologies Co Ltd.
China's major telecom operators, China Telecommunications Corp, China Mobile Communications Corp and China United Network Communications Group Co Ltd, also have centers there.
Up to 20 Fortune 500 companies and 14 of China's top 500 firms have a presence in the technology park.
Apple, for example, invested billion on its first big data center in the country. The Guian setup will be used to help meet growing demand for advanced cloud services.
The global tech giant's decision to ramp up investment in China comes at a time when it is losing ground to domestic rivals such as Huawei.
Still, this move will cement its place in the market here.