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Telecommunication

Chinese telecom groups shift focus to 'east-west' data project

Spending to support new government strategy to offset decline of 5G investment

Chinese officials such as Premier Li Keqiang, center in white, have encouraged Tencent Holdings and other companies to invest in building data centers in less developed western provinces like Guizhou.   © Reuters

HONG KONG -- After pouring billions of dollars into Beijing's drive to wire China for 5G applications to support the country's technological advance, state-owned telecommunications companies are now signaling financial backing for the government's latest strategic initiative: building infrastructure to send data from developed coastal cities westward to inland computing centers for processing.

"It is one of the hottest topics," said China Telecom Chairman Ke Ruiwen during the company's results call two weeks ago.

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