China and Cambridge explore big-data links


2017-01-14


The English university city of Cambridge, an evolving global hub for the development of big data, is attracting the attention of Chinese companies that are already engaged in the sector-one that is said to be the keystone of the so-called fourth industrial revolution.

As part of a two-way flow of ideas, Business Big Data(BBD) recently sponsored a seminar in Cambridge that looked at the latest developments in applying big data to business management.

Entitled Sharing China's Dream, the seminar's attendees looked at the use of big data and its potential, and explored how Cambridge could tap into China's market and attract Chinese partners.

The fast-expanding BBD was founded three years ago in Chengdu and has offices around the world, including in London and Cambridge.

The company says it wants to change the way big data is used to enhance existing businesses.

BBD senior vice-president and general manager Daniel Pu spoke at the seminar about how China's Chongqing Bank had taken the lead in developing SME business by innovative application of data analytics.

The event's organizer, Cambridge University's entrepreneur in residence Professor Alan Barrell, said BBD is a great example of how a small business in China can grow internationally.

"BBD-designed software helps banks to assess the prospects and performance of smaller companies and it will be equally valuable for those involved in crowdfunding," he said. "China is leading in changing the way business is done and there's a big focus on development, understanding and cooperation. Chinese businesses are interested in fintech, biotech and agritech and a lot of companies are heading to the UK and vice versa."

In the separate field of mobile communications China's Hytera is in talks to buy digital mobile radio company Sepura in a takeover worth around 90 million pounds ($115 million).

The attraction of Cambridge among foreign investors includes the presence of Europe's original high-tech cluster, the so-called Silicon Fen, and the city's strong academic credentials in technology fields, including big data.

The university's Big Data Strategic Research Initiative brings together researchers from six academic departments to address the challenges presented by access to unprecedented volumes of data.

Another speaker at the event, Jinny Yan, chief economist at Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, shared her knowledge and experience of the Chinese economy and of the steps businesses should take to get into the Chinese market or attract partners from China.