China must speed up building information infrastructure if the country wants to build a better digital data market, said Liu Liehong, head of China's National Data Administration (NDA).
Liu made the remarks on Sunday at a forum in Beijing.
Treating data as a factor of production is a major innovation in China's theory of governing, Liu told the forum, adding that the administration is doing more research to release the digital economy's full potential.
"Many data keepers don't want to sell the data or dare to do it," Liu said. "After selling the data, they usually lose control over it but still have to face the safety consequences."
"In the traditional, non-data market, people can exclusively own the goods," Liu explained. "But unencrypted data can be copied almost freely."
Liu said the administration is trying to build a trusted system for data trade with technologies like multi-factor secured computing and blockchain. In this way, the data suppliers can monitor the usage of their data and can keep risks at a minimum.
Liu also promised to properly adjust the income gap in the data trade so that the strong will not keep getting stronger.
On data safety, Liu said he knows the risk of leaking personal information, trade secrets, and even national secrets in the data trade and called for all parties to work together and find a way to realize data safety while limiting the cost of data security on a reasonable scale.
China has launched a three-year campaign from 2024 to 2026 to promote the use of data as a factor of production in more scenarios, which is expected to generate a multiplier effect in boosting the economy.
The NDA was inaugurated in October 2023 as part of the country's efforts to advance the planning and building of a Digital China, a digital economy, and a digital society. It is responsible for fostering the construction of data infrastructure and coordinating the integration, sharing, development and application of data resources.