State-owned Assets Report | Helping New Infrastructure and Digital Transformation of State-owned Enterprises with Professionalism
Written by Yuan Shimeng, a correspondent from State-owned Assets Report, Issue No.9, 2021
On March 4th, 2020, the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee held a meeting, proposing "accelerating the construction of major projects and infrastructure that have been clearly defined in the national plan, and accelerating the construction of new types of infrastructure such as 5G networks and IDC". As a result, "new infrastructure" has become a hot word attracting wide attention from the public. In September of the same year, the Notice on Accelerating the Digital Transformation of State-owned Enterprises issued by the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC) of the State Council put forward: "Optimize the layout of data centers, improve service capabilities and speed up the pace of enterprise cloudification." "Give full play to the advantages of state-owned enterprises as the main force of new infrastructure, and actively carry out investment and construction of new infrastructure such as 5G, industrial Internet and AI, so as to form a new impetus for economic growth." Established in 2015, Hotwon Group (hereinafter referred to as "Hotwon") focuses on providing high-quality IT infrastructure, network communication, cloud computing application services and one-stop multi-regional resource services for government and enterprise customers. As a representative enterprise in the field of Internet data center (IDC), what does Hotwon think about the new infrastructure? As state-owned enterprises help new infrastructure and carry out digital transformation, what unique values can Hotwon, as a provider of infrastructure services and operational capabilities, create? With these questions in mind, the reporter of State-owned Assets Report interviewed Liu Li’ao, president of Hotwon.
Liu Li’ao, President of Hotwon
Take on the IDC industry development mission
State-owned Assets Report: The IDC is the core site for efficient and stable operation of information technology, and the basic guarantee facility for digital transformation of enterprises. In the context of the nationwide vigorous promotion of new infrastructure, can you share us with your opinions on what will become of the development trend of data centers?
Liu Li’ao: In terms of traditional infrastructure, our country has achieved great achievements, and will have further development. The judgment of building new infrastructure from traditional infrastructure is made based on the future development trend of technologies such as Internet, big data and cloud computing. It is very critical for China to gain the international competitive advantage in the future. Therefore, as we have seen, once the concept of new infrastructure is put forward, it has become a hot word widely concerned by the market. IDC will develop simultaneously as China's economy develops continuously. At the same time, its development will also promote the development of new infrastructure, Internet and other fields. Thus, we believe that with the development of China's economy, the improvement of Internet popularity and the continuous enrichment of applications, the IDC industry will maintain sustained and stable development.
State-owned Assets Report: As a new type of infrastructure, IDC has become the core strategic resource of regional and national competitiveness in the digital economy era. We know that, at this year's China Beijing International Fair for Trade in Services, Beijing Yingjun Technology Co., Ltd., a subsidiary of Hotwon, won the award of "Green Development Service Demonstration Case" for "A Case of Data Center Waste Heat Recovery and Clean Technology Helping the Green Development of New Digital Infrastructure".
Liu Li’ao: Actually, Hotwon had already deeply cultivated and laid out this industry before the country introduced “new infrastructure”. After this concept is formally proposed, guided and promoted by our country, Hotwon, as a typical enterprise, should assume several responsibilities.
First, Hotwon should show a correct development direction for the industry. IDC industry should focus on long-term operation and stable returns. Take Hotwon as an example: every data center we build and operate has a long service cycle. Therefore, we think those engaged in IDC industry should keep this in mind: pursue long-term development.
Secondly, IDC is a relatively basic industry, which determines that stability and service quality are something that should be given more priorities in this industry. In our view, Hotwon should pay more attention to IDC's whole life-cycle from design to construction, operation and maintenance and how to make everything meticulously to the highest point of perfection.
Thirdly, IDC industry is a high energy-consuming industry, so one of Hotwon's efforts involves constant learning and exploration in advanced technologies for energy saving and consumption reduction for our own use, so as to set standards and models in the green and low-carbon development in this industry. At the recent China Beijing International Fair for Trade in Services, Beijing Yingjun Technology Co., Ltd., a subsidiary of Hotwon, submitted the "A Case of Data Center Waste Heat Recovery and Clean Technology Helping the Green Development of New Digital Infrastructure", which won the award of "Green Development Service Demonstration Case” for its leading edge in energy conservation and environmental protection in data center. It fully demonstrates Hotwon's technical strength as well as the industry's affirmation to us.
Build core advantages
State-owned Assets Report: We know that in 2020, Hotwon reached a Series B round of financing strategic cooperation with CITICPE Industrial Fund, DCP and China-United Arab Emirates Joint Investment Fund. Hotwon was also selected as the Great Wall Strategic Consulting 2020 China Unicorn Enterprise List. Could you please tell us why Hotwon won the favor of investors?
Liu Li’ao: Hotwon is one of the few IDC enterprises that have received investment from large and professional investment institutions. In my opinion, firstly, they see our development potential. Hotwon won the recognition of industry customers and the trust of investors with its unique operation mode, superior professional proficiency and efficient implementation. Secondly, IDC is closely related to information technology such as the Internet despite being a traditional and basic industry. In addition, our whole team is generally made of young people, who show strong driving force and innovative ability, making it another factor when investors value us.
State-owned Assets Report: We have noticed that the development direction and mode of Hotwon is to continuously consolidate the competitive advantage in the core cities. What consideration is this based on? And what is its unique competitive advantage?
Liu Li’ao: This benefits from our initial orientation, that is, to provide services for customers, with first-tier cities as the core and the periphery of first-tier cities as satellite nodes. We believe that stability and quick response remain the core requirements of customers for data centers. Moreover, our customer orientation is mainly for finance industry, government enterprises and the Internet. Therefore, from the very beginning, we paid more attention to the markets of first-tier cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen, made great efforts to carry out research work, and obtained some relatively high-quality resources, so as to serve customers' main
Speaking of the competitive advantage of Hotwon, in fact, it is not only a strategic vision and investor background, but more importantly, Hotwon's operation, maintenance and service capabilities. We have made arduous efforts in building the operation and maintenance data center, from external building materials to the electromechanical equipment of the data center. Hotwon thinks more about what customers want and how to meet and realize their multi-faceted needs.
Help new infrastructure and digital transformation of state-owned enterprises
State-owned Assets Report: In September 2020, the SASAC issued the Notice on Accelerating the Digital Transformation of State-owned Enterprises, clearly pointing out that it was necessary to give full play to the advantages of state-owned enterprises as the main force of new infrastructure, and actively carry out the investment and construction of new infrastructure such as 5G, industrial Internet and AI, thus forming a new impetus for economic growth. What role can Hotwon play in helping the new infrastructure and digital transformation of state-owned enterprises?
Liu Li’ao: Whether for new infrastructure or digital transformation, state-owned enterprises have high requirements for data security. For many state-owned enterprises, they want the data centers to be located in their cities or even next to their companies. First-tier cities are the focus when Hotwon lays out its data centers. We can physically isolate the core data, protect the network or provide other network security services to realize a quick response to customer needs. In our view, however, besides site selection, what is more important for data center lies in its ability to provide operation and maintenance services. This is the key that we think state-owned enterprises need to grasp when launching new infrastructure and digital transformation.
State-owned Assets Report: IDC is a basic industry. One can't do without uniting joint partners and building upstream and downstream ecology if he wants to serve state-owned enterprises. How does Hotwon consider on this aspect?
Liu Li’ao: A data center can provide relatively low-level products and services in IT and Internet fields. Therefore, we will extend upstream services by cooperating with cloud vendors, and combine our basic services with theirs, so as to jointly provide services for state-owned enterprises. For example, we jointly build a localized cloud platform with major operators and domestic mainstream cloud vendors by combining the advantages of all parties. This platform is set to provide a series of IaaS, PaaS, SaaS cloud computing products such as big data, cloud disaster recovery and cloud security as well as industry solutions. On the basis of in-depth understanding of the business needs of government and enterprise customers in different scenarios, we provide neutral, safe and reliable industry cloud platform services.