China will launch multifaceted efforts to support the development of big data technologies, as part of the country's broader push to develop a digital economy, a top official at the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) said on Monday. The efforts will be focused on four areas in the development of big data - innovation, integration, market-building and security - Chen Zhaoxiong, vice minister of the MIIT, told a panel at the first Digital China Summit in Fuzhou, capital of East China's Fujian Province. "We will support innovation in advanced technologies and acceleration of research and development of products," Chen was quoted as saying in a statement on the MIIT's website. "We will also push for integrated development for big data development [and] foster new models for big data-drive growth." Chen said on Monday that China will foster "a batch of star companies and talent" in big data, while encouraging small and medium companies to dig for "niche markets."
China's official digital currency is now usable in a meaningful way... more or less. Reuters reports that JD.com now accepts digital yuan for some purchases at its site, making it the first online platform to take the virtual money. You'll need to have received the currency as part of a lottery-style experimental giveaway to residents of Suzhou (near Shanghai), but it's a big step toward normalizing the format. The move follows another lottery for citizens in Shenzhen. The move gives the country more power and, in theory, more stability than frequently volatile formats like bitcoin.