China to revamp data, tech authorities in self-reliance push

China to revamp data, tech authorities in self-reliance push

BEIJING: China will set up a national data authority, downsize staff at central state institutions and strengthen its science ministry, according to a policy plan unveiled this week, in a sweeping revamp as Beijing pushes for tech sector self-reliance.

A broad restructuring document announced by China’s cabinet on Tuesday (Mar 7) intends to focus the Ministry of Science and Technology’s resources on coordinating “scientific and technological achievements”.

Beijing will also set up a national data administration responsible for overseeing the digital economy, as well as slash staffing at the country’s central state institutions by 5 per cent. 

The freed-up headcount will be reallocated toward “key areas and important work”, according to the plan.

The restructuring comes as China pours resources into its manufacturing and research capabilities in the face of tightened restrictions on homegrown tech companies by the United States and its Western allies.

China’s parliament is expected to approve the plan at its annual national meeting this week.