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Communications of the ACM

China Region Special Section: Hot Topics

Can China Lead the Development of Data Trading and Sharing Markets?

China stars on binary code backdrop

Credit: FCW

At the same time the European Union is implementing new strict data protection regulations, China's data trading and sharing markets are booming. Here, we survey the status of these developing markets driven by growing demand from artificial intelligence (AI)-related industries, covering government encouragement as well as critical concerns and research opportunities including privacy and security.

China, with the world's largest e-commerce and mobile payment markets,a has an estimated big-data market of $70B circa 2015, which has been projected to grow to $155B by 2020.2 As in much of the world, over 80% of data in China is privately held by the governments and private companies, restricting its exploitation for productivity and profit. The President of China, Xi Jinping, particularly emphasized the importance of data's open sharing and fusion as part of the national strategy for big data on December 8, 2017, encouraging data sharing across government sections and local governments, and data sharing/trading between governments and private companies.


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