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Belt and Road

China's Belt and Road pivots from coal plants to data centers

Concern about costs puts more focus on biotech and digital projects

Senegal's government data center in Diamniadio was a joint project with China, with servers provided by Huawei Technologies. (Photo by Ryohei Yasoshima)

TOKYO -- China's Belt and Road Initiative has been shifting away from signature big infrastructure projects in favor of less capital-intensive fields like IT and biotechnology, investment data shows.

Nikkei tallied new "greenfield" investment -- which involves building operations from the ground up -- by China from the Financial Times's fDi Markets foreign direct investment monitor. Investment in information technology, communications and electronic components totaled $17.6 billion in 2022, six times the amount in 2013, when the Belt and Road Initiative launched.

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