GUIYANG, May 26 (Xinhua) -- An international expo on big data opened Sunday in southwest China's Guizhou Province, focusing on the latest innovation of the technology and its applications.
The four-day China International Big Data Industry Expo 2019 in the provincial capital of Guiyang will be attended by 448 enterprises from 59 countries and regions, according to the organizing committee.
Among them are more than 150 foreign companies, including 39 Fortune 500 firms.
The expo will feature nine high-level dialogues, including one on big data and global efforts on poverty alleviation, as well as more than 50 forums.
It will also include a global competition on artificial intelligence and autonomous driving.
"Today, the Internet, big data and artificial intelligence have integrated deeply with the real economy, while the digital economy has enjoyed rapid growth," Miao Wei, China's minister of industry and information technology, said at the opening ceremony of the expo. "Such integration has become the key driving force for high-quality development of the economy."
By the end of 2018, the scale of China's digital economy reached 31 trillion yuan (about $4.5 trillion), accounting for about one-third of the national GDP, Miao said.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has sent a message for the big data expo, expressing his best wishes for a fruitful event.
"From medicine to transportation to farming, big data presents the world with a remarkable tool to advance global progress," Guterres said.
He also encouraged participants of the big data industry to reflect on the analysis provided by the High-Level Panel on Digital Cooperation launched by the UN, so that "we can create a digital world that we are proud to pass on to our children and grandchildren."
Since 2015, the big data industry expo, the first of its kind in China, has been held four times in Guiyang. Last year, the expo attracted over 40,000 participants from nearly 30 countries.
As China's first big data pilot zone, the mountainous province of Guizhou has attracted heavyweight players, including Apple, Qualcomm, Huawei, Tencent, Alibaba and Foxconn, to establish cloud computing and big data centers as well as regional headquarters.