China to invest $182 billion to boost internet access

China to invest $182 billion to boost internet access

China will spend $182 billion (1.13 trillion yuan) by the end of 2017 to improve internet access as the country seeks to boost growth.

China’s State Council, the country’s central planning authority, unveiled “Made in China 2025”, a 10-year plan for upgrading the country’s manufacturing capacity. The plan will focus on 10 sectors, including technology. 

The government will invest over $69.3 billion (430 billion yuan) in 2015 on fibre optic broadband and high speed 4G mobile network construction, with at least another $112.8 billion (700 billion yuan) spent over the next two years. 

“Countries, both developed and developing, are reshaping their competitiveness as new technologies, including 3D printing, mobile internet, cloud computing and new energy, emerge and China needs to urgently improve its ability to innovate and grasp these cutting-edge technologies,” said the State Council.  

“The country should also further open up its market and attract foreign investors to invest in key areas, such as the development of new information technology and bio-medicine, and foreign companies and institutions should be encouraged to set up R&D centres in China,” it added.

China's premier Li Keqiang has called for lower internet fees and faster broadband speeds in the country. The country presently ranks 82nd in the world with an average internet connect speed of 3.4Mbps last year, slower than Malaysia, Thailand and Taiwan, according to Akamai Technologies.