Hi-tech expansion drives China’s second boom in the hinterland – Telegraph
By the end of this year a fifth of all computers in the world will be manufactured in Chengdu, the ancient Sichuan capital of western China.
The great leap forward has come with lightning speed, and spans the gamut of hi-tech industry. The three state-telecom giants — China Mobile, China Unicom, China Telecom — are together spending $4.7bn to create the world’s largest cloud-computing base at the city’s Tianfu software park.
Country cousins they are not in Chengdu. There is no reason why they should be. The city competes with Rome for primacy as the world’s oldest metropolis (Baghdad is not quite the same as Babylon), and competes with Tuscany for food.
Foreign critics have clung too long to the 1990s narrative of a booming Eastern seaboard — the quintarchy of Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, Shenzhen, and Guangzhou, some 300m people deep — backed by a vast hinterland of ignorance, poverty, and filth.
It was never so, and is utterly wrong today as the great boom rotates West. Chengdu has been an aerospace centre since the 1950s, strategically located in the Sichuan Basin behind a ring of escarpments — including the 25,000ft peaks of the Great Snowy Mountains, many of them still unclimbed to this day.