Global Times: Tech innovations to assist Xiong’an to march toward a ‘futuristic city’

BEIJING, May 29, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — There are two cities in North China’s Xiong’an New Area, or dubbed as China’s “city of the future” — one is the city above the ground, and the other is the city in high-tech “cloud”.
Yuan Xiaodong, CTO of Xiong’an Yunwang Technology Co, has joined the construction of Xiong’an Urban Computing Center since the plan was first proposed in 2020, and was hailed as being “city brain”.
“I have put all my past experience on this project, and what I dared not to do in the past can be realized here,” Yuan told the Global Times.
Yuan said that the project is part of the city’s blueprint as the city is designed to become an intelligent city featuring high-tech innovations since its inception.
On April 1, 2017, China announced plans to establish Xiong’an New Area in North China’s Hebei Province about 100 kilometers south of Beijing, in what an official statement called “a strategy that will have lasting importance for the millennium to come and a significant national event.”

For a city whose establishment will carry “lasting importance for the millennium to come,” China’s central authorities have stressed the importance of planning and designing, saying “every inch of land should be clearly planned before construction,” according to the official Xinhua News Agency. 

China’s leadership also stated to build the city, leveraging advanced science and technology, in a bid to make innovative advances the trademark of Xiong’an New Area.

Futuristic city 

To realize the ambitions of “city of the future,” Xiong’an New Area was being constructed via digital and real programming at the same time, and even every building and street light in the city has a one-to-one correspondence as part of a highly digitalized city.
With a total investment of 1.099 billion yuan ($156 million), the Xiong’an Urban Computing Center carries supercomputing and cloud computing facilities, and provides network, computing, and storage services for big data, blockchain, Internet of Things, AI, and VR/AR covering the entire city.
The center will be a center to carry four platforms for the city, including an integrated data platform, video network platform, city information modeling platform and Internet of Things (IOT) platform. All the big data of the platforms will form a collection, and being analyzed via computing power and big data analysis tools to provide decision-making basis for Xiong’an’s urban construction and future urban operations, and ultimately serve the daily operations of the entire city.
The ambitious digital construction avoids the complexities of “information islands” and will help solve problems such as data incompatibility among various departments in the city, Yuan said.
“Our server software instructions, network components, server components, and security components in this center are all self-developed by ourselves,” Yuan said, proudly.
The Xiong’an Urban Computing Center was put into operation in April this year, and is only one part of the extensive network of technology being built in the city. 

Smart construction

At the construction site of the Xiong’an Xuanwu Hospital project, a high-definition camera with a 23x zoom is installed in the project control room, which can focus on safety belt buckles of workers on a scaffolding jungle about 500 meters from surface.

In the Xiong’an Citizen Service Center, each component is merged with a chip or posted a QR code, which realizes big data management of the whole process. The project also uses the big data center as a hub, and incorporates a smart construction system. The contractor only needs a computer or mobile phone to realize panoramic monitoring, energy consumption monitoring and drone aerial photography, according to China State Construction Co.

The citizen service center has been connected to many smart devices at the earliest stage of design. Although the construction schedule is tight, the digital application in the process of construction has been a big help to quality control, Yin Yunhui, a technician from China State Construction told the Global Times. 

Since the establishment of Xiong’an New District, blockchain technology has been applied to urban design, including the management of the wages for every construction worker onsite, and it can be said that blockchain technology has been integrated into all aspects of the construction of the city.
“To avoid the risk of interception or misappropriation of funds, we have developed a blockchain system for public fund management, relying on the information flow on the blockchain to drive capital flow to realize accurate, timely and transparent disbursement of funds,” Meng Hongwei, deputy director of Xiong’An Blockchain Lab with Intelligent City Innovation Federation, told the Global Times.
Now, there are more than 400 projects covering more than 4,000 enterprises registered in local industrial service platform aided with the blockchain technology to make payment, Meng added.
The city’s blockchain lab, which was set up in 2020 with the goal of applying blockchain technology to aid the construction of a new and smart city, also highlights Xiong’an’s focus on technological innovation.
Xiong’an New Area launched the digital yuan pilot project at the end of 2019, with many use scenarios including the banks and inner-city supermarkets, hotels and e-commerce platforms trialing out the digital yuan.
Over a development span of more than six years, the city has completed a cumulative investment of 530 billion yuan by the end of 2022, and more than 3,600 buildings have been erected. The city has also rolled out 3,536 5G base stations, realizing full coverage of 5G networks in the city.

As the first experimental area in China to adopt smart transportation, the total mileage of digitalized road in Xiong’an will be expanded to 500 kilometers, and currently, the total mileage of digital roads has reached more than 200 kilometers. And, relying on “5G+Beidou” positioning, the city’s public transport system will become increasingly intelligent. 

“Xiong’an is to be a leader in innovation, offering endless possibilities and opportunities,” Yuan said.